USF Graduation Will Allow for Celebrating In-Person with Social Distancing

May 5, 2021,

The University of Sioux Falls is planning three on-ground commencement ceremonies to take place for its undergraduate and graduate students on Sunday, May 16, 2021, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

Participants in each ceremony will be assigned based on degree and/or area of study as follows:

  • 10 a.m. ceremony: Students earning an associate degree in any field, or a bachelor's degree with majors within the areas of Nursing, Natural Science and Business.
  • 2 p.m. ceremony: Students earning a bachelor's degree with majors within the areas of Social Science, Visual and Performing Arts, Humanities and Education.
  • 6 p.m. ceremony: Students earning a bachelor's degree through the Degree Completion Program or a master's degree in Business Administration, Education or Education Specialist.

Over 450 students total will be graduating, including 326 undergraduate-level and 137 graduate-level degree holders.

“The class of 2021 have overcome the obstacles brought on by the pandemic and have become stronger than we ever thought imaginable,” said Brenda Wipf ’21, a Communication Studies & Theatre major who will be commencement speaker at the 2 p.m. ceremony. “We have stretched ourselves to new lengths and given all that we have in order to graduate. We are resilient. We are living proof that anything can be accomplished.”

The change of venue to the Sioux Falls Convention Center will allow for in-person ceremonies with more guests per graduate while still allowing for social distancing. Each graduate will be issued four tickets for family or friends to attend. Masks will be required.

In addition, all ceremonies will be live-streamed on USF’s YouTube channel for those unable to attend.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer in-person commencement ceremonies this year,” said Dr. Joy Lind, vice president for academic affairs, “and we look forward to this day of celebration with our graduating students and their families.”

Last year at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, USF moved its ceremonies online and celebrated its graduates by mailing each and every one of its over 500 graduates a commencement box containing a graduation program, diploma cover, and in USF tradition, a purple towel representing the commission to serve others that comes with the responsibility of an education being mailed to each of its graduates.

A 2021 graduate has been chosen to serve as commencement speaker at each of this year’s commencement ceremonies. Speakers will include Wipf; Bradyn Doell ’21, BA Business Administration and Accounting; and Matt Fjerkenstad ’21, Master of Education in Educational Leadership.

Learn more about Graduation

Share this Article