Minnesota Law’s Class of 2021 virtual commencement ceremony will be livestreamed via YouTube on Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m. (CDT). Visit z.umn.edu/lawcommencement2021 at that time to view the live program.
Please note, the above link will not bring you to the stream until the morning of May 15. If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commencement Email Communications
From Dean Jenkins: Graduation Plans - Celebrating the Class of 2021!
I write today with an update on our graduation plans to celebrate the Class of 2021.
As you know, the University asked the Law School (and all academic units) to follow MDH and University guidelines in its planning and to submit our graduation plans for review and approval. In our planning, we solicited student feedback via a Commencement Survey, held a virtual feedback session for students, and met with the 3L Commencement Committee for additional comments. Following the updated MDH guidance on March 12th, we again consulted with representatives of Law Council.
Roughly 60% of the graduating class responded to the survey, with the majority of students expressing a preference for a live-stream-only ceremony with in-person celebration options for the days leading up to graduation. Many students commented that they valued inclusivity for all their classmates and loved ones (i.e. providing the same commencement experience for all), preferred to experience the commencement ceremony with family, and wanted an opportunity to see their classmates.
As we noted in the survey and in our discussions with students, we did explore outside venues and multiple ceremony options. These options would still require all attendees to be distanced and have limits on size, with many being cost-prohibitive. More importantly, these options would take away from the preference for community and inclusivity expressed by so many students.
With these values and preferences in mind, we have received University approval for the following plan. The Class of 2021 will be celebrating graduation with a live-streamed-only commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15th, at 10 am CST and in-person activities the week of graduation. The ceremony will include our traditional graduation elements, including our keynote speaker (to be announced early next week), conferring of degrees, reading of the names of graduates by select faculty, student speakers, commencement address, and student and teaching awards. The live-stream will be available for all and we will explore real-time chat opportunities for attendees.
To aid you in celebrating this important milestone, the Law School is providing free regalia rental to all our graduating students. We will also have opportunities at the Law School the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of graduation week to take photos (both casual and professional), to say “hi” to faculty and staff, and to pick up some graduation goodies. We will also assist the 3L Commencement Committee in planning the 3L Class Party, with more information to come later. More details on in-person activities the week of graduation, as well as on how to order regalia, will be shared via email and posted on this page soon.
I know this time represents significant sacrifice and a departure from what you and your loved ones probably imagined, and I share your disappointment that we can’t celebrate all that you’ve accomplished in our “normal” way. The pandemic has brought so many challenges to our lives and disrupted so many of life’s most important rituals, one of which is celebrating milestones like commencement. I am looking forward to seeing you the week of graduation and honoring all that you’ve accomplished at Minnesota Law and all that you will accomplish as part of our alumni community. You will all do great things!
JD CLASS OF 2021 ORIENTATION PHOTO