Dear Class of 2021,

I am pleased to announce that Wake Forest is planning to hold 2021 Commencement ceremonies in person this May. Public health conditions and guidance are shifting rapidly, and we are refining plans to celebrate our graduates and protect the health of our community.

Our plans currently include the following:

  • Most undergraduate Commencement activities will be held Sunday, May 16, and/or Monday, May 17.
  • We will hold multiple smaller ceremonies for the undergraduate Class of 2021 to allow individuals to be recognized by name in front of families and guests.
  • The graduate and professional schools will each coordinate their own celebrations and hooding ceremonies.
  • Most, if not all, ceremonies will take place outside in one of Wake Forest’s athletic stadiums to adhere to state gathering limits and social distancing protocols. We know this represents a significant change from the look and feel of our traditional commencement on Hearn Plaza, but we are confident that we will create a memorable and meaningful experience. Both formal and informal photo opportunities will be available in front of Wait Chapel.
  • Additionally, we anticipate a large, celebratory event for undergraduates in the Class of 2021 at Truist Field. While not “traditional,” this will be a high-energy event that you won’t want to miss.
  • All ceremonies and celebrations will be held rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, events will be delivered virtually.
  • We will livestream ceremonies and celebrations when possible.
  • Currently, we anticipate being able to accommodate two guests per graduate at each ceremony and celebration. This may change as public health conditions change.

Due to the number and variety of ceremonies and celebrations, we cannot yet confirm the exact date, time and venue for each event. We will share more details on Friday, March 19.

I am grateful that we can mark this milestone together, and I look forward to honoring your achievements.


Nathan O. Hatch