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Friday,
May 14, 2021 at 10:00 am
Sanford Stadium

As the birthplace of public higher education, the University of Georgia has fostered a tradition of academic excellence, intellectual inquiry, and service to others since 1785. For our graduates, Commencement is a beginning, the start of the next chapter in their lives.

Whether you’re participating in the graduate Commencement ceremony or supporting your graduate, this information will help you prepare for and navigate graduation day.

Livestream

Graduate Ceremony

Announcements

In light of changing public health guidance from the CDC and DPH, as well as an updated Executive Order from the Governor, the University of Georgia is amending plans for Spring Commencement.

The dates for the individual Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremonies remain the same. Eligible Spring graduates will be provided tickets to sit on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium, if they choose, and there will be no limit on the number of guests in the stands.

Tickets are required for graduates in order to be admitted. 

PhD candidates will get two tickets and wristbands for field access so that a guest may sit with them and place their hood when their slide is shown, if they choose. Master’s and Specialist degree graduates will receive one ticket and wristband.

Guests of graduates do not require tickets, and there are no limitations on numbers of guests in the stands. 

Graduate tickets must be printed at home and presented at Gate 10. Graduates who wish to access field-level seating will receive a wristband after their tickets are scanned at Gate 10. Graduates who wish to sit with their guests in the stands should also have their tickets scanned at Gate 10 but do not need a wristband.

Graduates should arrive no later than 9:45 a.m.

Graduates are encouraged to wear their regalia on the field, but if you have not purchased regalia, please wear red and black.

We are committed to a culture of personal accountability as part of our community-wide effort to combat COVID-19. If you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, we ask that you do not attend the Commencement ceremony.

Effective May 14, unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to socially distance from others when possible and to wear a face covering while inside campus facilities.

For those who cannot attend in person, a livestream of the ceremony is available at commencement.uga.edu. Anyone deemed at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by public health officials is strongly encouraged to view the livestream rather than attend the ceremony in person.

The CLEAR BAG policy is in effect for Commencement. Please follow the guidelines in the Permitted/Prohibited Items section.

General

Ceremony Location:
Sanford Stadium

Ceremony Start Time:
10:00 a.m. Graduates should plan to arrive by 9:45 a.m.

Gates Open:
8:00 a.m.

Commencement Speaker

David Lee

David Lee received his B.S. in biology from Stanford University and his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Washington. With the support of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, he completed postdoctoral fellowships in biochemistry at Washington University and in pharmacology at the University of Washington.

From 1983 to 1985, he was a senior scientist at Oncogen, a pharmaceutical company that was acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb during this period. In 1985, Lee joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. In 1991, he was appointed Scientific Program Leader for Cell Biology in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and he was appointed to head the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the center in 1998.

In 2005, Lee joined the University of Georgia as the vice president for research and executive vice president of the UGA Research Foundation, with an appointment as a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

Lee has overseen a period of significant growth in research activity at UGA, with the university’s total research and development expenditures increasing from just over $300 million to nearly $500 million.

He has encouraged the expansion of research centers, including the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts, and championed the growth of biomedical sciences, with UGA emerging as a national leader in infectious disease research.

Under Lee’s leadership, UGA has developed an efficient and effective technology transfer program and has been consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top universities for the number of commercial products reaching the marketplace. In addition, Dr. Lee co-led the university’s Innovation District Task Force and serves on the Innovation District leadership team.

He has served on the boards of several national organizations, including the Southeastern University Research Association, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Center for BioEnergy Innovation and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004.

Tickets/Registration

Tickets are required for graduates in order to be admitted to Dooley Field.  Guests of graduates do not require tickets, and there are no limitations on number of guests in the stands. 

Graduate tickets must be printed at home and presented at Gate 10.  If you have questions, please contact Commencement Reservations at rsvpcomm@uga.edu.

For those who cannot attend in person, a livestream of the ceremony will be available at commencement.uga.edu.

Anyone deemed at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by public health officials is strongly encouraged to view the livestream rather than attend the ceremony in person.

Gates open at 8 a.m. on the day of your ceremony, and the ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Graduates should arrive no later than 9:45 a.m. There will be no formal processional. If you choose to sit on the field, you may pick a seat of your choosing, as graduates will not be organized by schools/colleges. PhD candidates will get two wristbands for field access so that a guest may sit with them and place their hood when their slide is shown, if they choose. Master’s and Specialists will receive one wristband for field access.

Graduates are encouraged to wear their regalia on the field, but if you have not purchased regalia, please wear red and black.

If you or one of your guests need wheelchair seating accommodations, additional registration will be required. Sanford Stadium does not provide wheelchairs on site. Guests with mobility concerns are strongly encouraged to bring their own wheelchair or elect to view the livestream. 

The ceremony will have fewer guests than a customary, full Commencement in Sanford Stadium.  Ample parking is available nearby; see parking for information on specific lots and decks. Visitors may need to walk up to a mile, including moderate hills and stairs, from parking and throughout the Stadium.

UGA ID Number

Your UGA ID number can be found by logging into “ATHENA” and clicking the “Financial Aid” button and then “Financial Aid Status.” You will see your UGA ID number in front of your name in the upper right corner of the page.

Parking

Parking for Commencement is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Suggested parking areas include, Hull Deck (W05), North Campus Deck (N04), South Campus Deck (S11), and Performing Arts Center Deck (E20).

For disability parking, see disability access.

If you have additional parking questions, please contact Parking Services at 706‑542‑7275.

Parking Map

Disability Access

Requests for accommodations for those with disabilities should be made as soon as possible but at least 7 days prior to the event. Please contact the Office of Special Events at rsvpcomm@uga.edu to request accommodations.

Graduates and/or guests requiring wheelchair accessible seating are required to register in advance. Please email rsvpcomm@uga.edu to reserve seating.

Please contact Commencement Reservations with any questions at rsvpcomm@uga.edu.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating Reservations allows access for one person in a wheelchair and one companion (two individuals per reservation).  Additional family members will need to sit separately in general seating. Please plan accordingly.

Visitors with mobility concerns but who do not require wheelchair accessible seating should arrive early to sit in the general admission seats and be prepared for the exertion of the day. Stadium gates open 2 hours prior to the start of the ceremony.

Visitors with other ADA accommodations, please contact rsvpcomm@uga.edu.

On-site wheelchairs are NOT available. Guests with difficulty walking are strongly encouraged to view the livestream or bring their own wheelchair and register for wheelchair seating. Wheelchairs are commonly available for short-term rental from medical supply stores and some pharmacies.

Anyone deemed at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by public health officials is strongly encouraged to view the livestream rather than attend the ceremony in person.

Disability Parking (Permit Required)

Parking for guests with disabilities is available in the Tate Center Parking Deck located at 705 South Lumpkin Street. Disability Parking Permits are required to park in the Tate Center Parking Deck.

Personal vehicle drop-offs are NOT permitted near the stadium. Please plan accordingly. 

On-site wheelchairs are NOT available. Guests with difficulty walking are strongly encouraged to view the livestream or bring their own wheelchair and register for wheelchair seating.

Parking Map

Seating Chart

Download

Face Coverings

Effective May 14, unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to socially distance from others when possible and to wear a face covering while inside campus facilities.

Entrance

  • Gates 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 will be open.
  • Graduates should enter through Gate 10 with their ticket.
  • Decals will be placed at gate entry to facilitate social distancing.
  • All patrons are allowed to bring in one unopened bottle of water.
  • The Clear Bag Policy is still in effect.

Contactless Transactions

All transactions for concessions and merchandise locations at Sanford Stadium will be contactless and cashless (Credit/Debit Cards Only – Mastercard, Visa, Amex and Discover – all will be accepted). All souvenir stands will have $25 Visa gift cards available for cash purchase. These cards can be used at any concessions stand at Sanford Stadium, as well as merchants nationwide.

Concessions

Guests are permitted to bring in one, unopened bottle of water and food items. Food items must fit inside the permitted-sized bags.

Concessions will be available.

Concessions teams have implemented a number of measures to provide a clean and safe experience at concession locations in Sanford Stadium:

  • Concessions will include grab-n-go items. Menu offerings will be limited to the most highly-demanded.
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged to be worn by unvaccinated customers at all times; concessions staff will wear face coverings and gloves.
  • Condiment stands on the concourses will be eliminated. Pre-packaged condiments and napkins will be distributed upon request.
  • Food items will be wrapped or pre-packaged and offered in easy-to-carry trays along with packaged utensils.
  • All transactions will be cashless and contactless.
  • Social distancing floor decals have been installed to properly queue lines and maintain social distancing. Guests waiting in line will be asked to maintain at least six feet distance from other customers.

Viewing Options

We encourage those that are unable/unwilling to attend the in-person ceremony to view the ceremony online.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Commencement homepage starting at 9:55 a.m.

Eligibility

Those eligible to attend include graduate degree recipients for Spring 2021 and their guests.

Graduate Commencement exercises are held in May and December.  Students completing Graduate and Doctoral degree requirements during Summer will have the option to participate in the Fall graduation ceremony.

For general information regarding graduation requirements, consult the Graduation Bulletin. To ensure that you have met all the requirements for graduation, contact the Graduate Coordinator's Office in your academic department or email gradinfo@uga.edu

Permitted/Prohibited Items

Security has the right to inspect any item at any time for the purpose of safety.

Prohibited items must be returned to cars or disposed of before entering and will not be accepted by employees nor stored at the gates.

Permitted Items

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12"x6"x12".
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags.
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5" x 6.5".
  • Bags that contain necessary medical items, which must be inspected and approved at either gate 2 or gate 6.
  • Food; items must fit inside the permitted-sized bag
  • Water, in sealed plastic bottles; must fit inside the permitted-sized bag
  • Umbrellas
  • Cameras and video recorders (Clear Bag Policy applies to camera bags)
  • Strollers (except for in the seating areas)

Prohibited Items

For the safety, security, and experience of all guests, the following items are prohibited:

  • Backpacks and bags that do not follow clear bag specifications.
  • Wrapped gifts or packages wherein the contents are not visible
  • Alcohol
  • Glass and aluminum containers
  • UGA is a tobacco-free campus.
  • Large items, such as banners and posters, or amplification equipment, such as bullhorns or megaphones

Bag Specifications

Restrooms

  • Decals will be placed on the ground to promote social distancing.
  • Attendants will be assigned to every restroom, continuously disinfecting touch points.
  • All restrooms will be disinfected with an electrostatic sprayer before the ceremony.

Cleaning

  • The following areas will be disinfected with an electrostatic sprayer before each ceremony:
    • all stadium restrooms,
    • locker rooms,
    • first aid rooms,
    • and other common areas.
  • Hand sanitizers will be deployed throughout the stadium.
  • All public water fountains will be disabled.

Inclement Weather

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be held rain or shine and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather.  Severe weather is defined as rain accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning. If necessary, the alternate ceremony time will be announced on this website.

If it is raining on the morning of Commencement, but not declared severe weather, the ceremony will be held as planned in the stadium. 

Any changes to the Commencement ceremony will be announced by 5:00 p.m. the day before Commencement, and the information will be placed on the UGA homepage by 5:30 p.m.

If weather is a concern for you or a member of your party, you may wish to consider a different viewing option.

Captioning

The ceremony will have open captioning in Sanford Stadium. A live streaming transcription of the audio portion of the ceremony will be displayed on the large reader boards for guests.

Graduate Recognition

For PhD graduates, the slides created through Marching Order will also be shown during the ceremony on Sanford Stadium’s Jumbotron in recognition of your achievements. There will be no formal processional.  PhD candidates may sit on the field of Sanford Stadium along with one guest or they may sit in the stands with their guests. They may have a guest place their hood when their slide is shown if they choose. 

Master’s and Specialist degree graduates will have their names listed on the Jumbotron by school or college and read aloud during the ceremony. Your personalized slides will not be displayed but are available below for your personal use. Master’s and Specialist degree graduates may choose to sit on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium or with their guests in the stands. There will be no formal processional.

Tickets are required for graduates in order to be admitted to the field.  Guests of graduates do not require tickets, and there are no limitations on number of guests in the stands.  Graduate tickets must be printed at home and presented at Gate 10.  If you have questions, please contact Commencement Reservations at rsvpcomm@uga.edu.

We understand that not everyone will be able to attend the ceremony in person.  Please note that if you are not attending the ceremony, your slide or name will not be shown or read during the event. However, you will still be able to create and download the slide for your personal use, and you will still be able to view the livestream of the ceremony.

In order for your slide to be shown as part of the ceremony, candidates for degrees must remove their FERPA restrictions.

PhD Graduates who submitted their personalized slide by the deadline of Wednesday, April 21 will be featured on the Jumbotron.  Master’s and Specialist Degree Graduates who registered by the deadline will have their names listed on the Jumbotron.  Recognitions will be grouped by degree.

View full site

Keepsakes

Programs

In order to appear in the program, candidates for degrees must remove their FERPA restrictions when applying for graduation.

If you received your master’s or specialist degree in Spring 2021, your name will be in the program. If you received your doctorate degree in Spring 2021 and submitted the doctoral Commencement information form in GradStatus, your name and information will be in the program. The deadline to submit the doctoral commencement information form is March 12.

If you would like to receive a printed copy of the 2021 Spring Commencement program, please fill out this form by June 15, 2021.  Limit is one per graduate.

Download Program

Diploma Frames and UGA Merchandise

UGA merchandise, including diploma frames, can be purchased from the University of Georgia Bookstore located next to Sanford Stadium, the Tate Student Center, and the Zell B. Miller Learning Center. 

Graduates are encouraged to wear their regalia on the field, but if you have not purchased regalia, please wear red and black.

UGA Bookstore

Update Your Information

Wherever your next chapter takes you, stay in touch! Update your contact information with UGA Alumni to receive a special grad gift this summer.