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UNLV plans in-person graduation in May

UNLV announced Friday it plans to hold traditional in-person graduation ceremonies in May.

Ceremonies will be the third weekend of May at Sam Boyd Stadium. It will be UNLV’s first in-person graduation since December 2019. Ceremonies have been held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message to the university community, President Keith Whitfield wrote: “This decision may surprise some, but I have given it much thought, and I absolutely believe we can offer a traditional commencement while adhering to public health guidelines.”

UNLV previously announced in February it would hold a virtual graduation ceremony May 15, but that plan no longer applies, Whitfield said.

Having ceremonies at Sam Boyd Stadium — a large outdoor venue — combined with increased public gathering capacity limits “makes this feasible,” Whitfield wrote.

The new plan calls for two ceremonies for spring 2021 graduates, at 8 a.m. May 14 and 15.

“As is customary, the university will determine what colleges and schools — and their respective graduates — attend which ceremony,” Whitfield wrote.

A ceremony for all 2020 graduates is set for 6:30 p.m. May 14.

Each graduate will be allowed to have tickets for up to four guests. Everyone will be required to practice social distancing and wear a face mask, Whitfield wrote. Ceremonies will also be livestreamed for those who aren’t comfortable attending in person.

The University of Nevada, Reno and Nevada State College are planning virtual spring graduation ceremonies, although the college plans an in-person “grad walk” photo opportunity. The College of Southern Nevada hasn’t announced plans.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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