SAN ANGELO, Texas — After a year of virtual graduation ceremonies, Angelo State University is prepping for its first in-person commencement ceremonies, scheduled for May 14 and May 15.
The university held three virtual commencements in 2020, but now believes a safe and cautious graduation can occur, as long as proper steps are taken. This includes staying at least six feet apart and wearing a mask through the entire ceremony.
In an ASU press release, provost and vice president for academic affairs Don Topliff said, "We are very happy to return to hosting in-person ceremonies. We’re not completely back to normal, but our graduates will once again be able to walk the stage and celebrate their milestone achievement with their families and friends."
With vaccines being distributed and COVID-19 numbers decreasing throughout the state, ASU officials want students to have a traditional ceremony and take in the graduation experience.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently lifted the statewide mask mandate and is allowing businesses to operate at 100%.
“This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” Abbott said at a press conference in Lubbock earlier this month.
Students are amped at the opportunity to walk across the stage. One said it would mean so much not only to her, but her family who has battled COVID-19 on and off for the past year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends people stay home if they feel sick or have any COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, or a new loss of taste or smell.