While a large, single ceremony with many guests will not be possible this year, AUC will instead be hosting a series of small-scale, in-person graduation ceremonies on 6, 7 and 8 July at the AUC Academic Building for the Class of 2021.
[Update: 2 June 2021]
In April, we had announced our tentative plans to host a series of small-scale, in-person graduation ceremonies on 6, 7 and 8 July with a “go/no-go” decision date set for 1 June. We are pleased to announce that the current coronavirus measures (and those expected in the future) will allow for these ceremonies to take place in the AUC Academic Building.
After more than a year of mostly online activities, we want to make the most of what will be safely and responsibly possible for a very special graduation celebration for this year's graduating class.
For the small-scale ceremonies, this means that just as with on-campus education, the health and safety of our students, staff and community remains the guiding principle. Therefore, all in-person components of the graduation ceremonies will be done responsibly and well within the bounds of what the rules allow. This includes thoroughly respecting the basic measures in place, including wearing a facemask when moving through the building (including when students are walking on stage), limiting the number of individuals allowed in the AUC academic building at the same time, making all collections of items (i.e. certificates, caps, tassels, yearbooks) contactless, ensuring all individuals involved in the ceremony maintain 1.5m distance throughout and that attendees will be encouraged to use free self-tests before coming to the building in addition to being asked to sanitise their hands and any items touched during the course of the ceremonies. This also means that other than staff and students, no guests will be allowed on the premises.
Respecting the coronavirus measures still in place, and after consulting with AUC Student Council and AUC Student Association about the main priorities for students in these trying times, we will be hosting a series of small-scale hybrid ceremonies where 30-40 third-year students will be able to attend, walk the stage in-person and collect their ceremonial certificates. These ceremonies will all take place in the Common Room of the AUC academic building and attendance is limited to students participating in the ceremony and organisers of the event. Family members, friends and other members of the AUC community are warmly invited to watch the proceedings of each ceremony via a live stream, as it unfortunately isn’t possible to accommodate additional in-person attendees.
The individual smaller ceremonies will take place on 6, 7 and 8 July. On each of these days, two groups of students (30-40 students per group) will be invited to attend. One group will attend for a morning session and the other group for an afternoon session. This will allow for enough time for all students to exit the building and any sanitisation measures to be completed before the next group of students arrive. The ceremonies and times are as follows:
All participating students will be invited to sign-up for the ceremony of their preference. To allow for flexibility and students to celebrate their accomplishments with their friends, students will not be assigned a group but can instead register for their choice of date and time.
Each smaller ceremony will consist of recorded video elements and live components. The format of these smaller ceremonies is based on the key elements of prior graduation ceremonies, with the recorded elements including the Dean’s speech, Commencement Address, welcome to the AUC Alumni Association and Valedictorian speech. The live components will include a short speech by a tutor or faculty member, the reading of student names and the collection of ceremonial certificates by students walking across the stage. All students participating in the ceremony will also be able to collect their cap, tassel and yearbook during the event.
To allow family members, friends and community members to be part of the proceedings and watch graduates walk the stage, all of the graduation ceremonies will be live-streamed and recorded. A special page will be developed on the AUC website where visitors can view the pre-recorded elements of the ceremony and the live streams. This page will be launched at the end of June and sent to all participating students to forward
Students and staff members will receive more information over the course of June regarding instructions for arrival and participation in the ceremony. Although it will require some flexibility, we look forward to having third-year students finishing their degree at AUC to have a final moment of recognition and to celebrate their accomplishments in the academic building.