Marking a reversal from a previous announcement, graduating students will each be able to have two guests attend the College’s Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 29, President Rose wrote in an email to graduating students and their families on Friday. Weather permitting, the exercises will take place on Bowdoin’s Quad.
“I wrote on January 26 that we would not be able to accommodate family members and guests at Commencement due to state restrictions on the size of gatherings and other factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rose wrote. “But last Friday, March 5, Maine Governor Janet Mills announced new guidance that will ease travel, capacity, and gathering restrictions in phases between now and the end of May.”
Rose attributed the change in plans to these loosened restrictions and explained that Commencement guests will be seated in pairs and will be appropriately distanced from other parties. All guests will be required to wear face coverings. After the ceremony, students, faculty and guests will be given a boxed lunch.
In the event that inclement weather forces the ceremony inside—which, as Rose wrote, has happened only once in the past 35 years—all guests will have to watch the ceremony via a high-quality livestream recorded by an outside firm that will be partnering with the College to deliver this service. If weather allows the Exercises to take place outdoors, all guests who are unable to attend in person will still be able to use the livestream to watch.
“Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure the safety of our community and that of our neighbors while also providing students and their guests with an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements, character, and resilience of the Class of 2021,” Rose wrote.