Penn State Abington releases spring 2021 commencement details

ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State Abington will host two in-person commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 7, to mark the Class of 2021’s completion of their academic experience and to recognize their many accomplishments.

With the health and safety of students, their guests and the community continuing to be the priority, this year’s ceremonies will look different and will follow all state and federal guidelines.

The morning ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., and the afternoon ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Graduates will receive their ceremony designation via email. Seating will open one hour prior to each ceremony. Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes before the assigned ceremony as the Registrar's office will be providing instructions at this time. Each ceremony will take place rain or shine.

Each graduate will receive their personal graduate ticket via email and two guest tickets will arrive in a separate email. Each graduate is responsible for forwarding tickets to their guests. There will be no admittance to the ceremony without a valid ticket.

Each graduate will have their name read and will walk across the stage. Masks will be required as graduates process.

Diplomas will be mailed the week of June 14.

Health and safety protocols

Masks and physical distancing will be required at commencement. The ceremony will follow state and federal guidelines for gatherings. All students, guests and employees are required to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing from others to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Penn State staff will be on site to answer questions and provide guidance. All guests who will be attending a commencement ceremony are expected to take health and safety precautions when traveling and during commencement. In addition, do not attend an in-person ceremony if within the last 14 days you think you have been exposed, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, are awaiting test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Penn State is monitoring closely the spread of new variants and the potential impact of increased activities such as travel nationally. The University is prepared to shift plans should circumstances surrounding the pandemic change or worsen. More information will continue to be shared and updated as needed leading up to commencement to align the University's plans with the most up-to-date federal and state guidance.

Virtual ceremony

To help make commencement celebrations accessible to all our graduating students and their friends and families, Penn State is planning a University-wide virtual ceremony for students and guests who are unable to attend or prefer to participate online.

The University-wide virtual ceremony celebrating graduates from all campuses will be streamed at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, at The virtual ceremony will celebrate all undergraduate and graduate students at the Commonwealth Campuses, University Park, and Penn State World Campus — including those also attending an in-person ceremony — and will feature the conferral of degrees, induction into the Alumni Association, and more.

All graduating students will be celebrated during the virtual ceremony and will have personalized digital slides available. Students will need to follow instructions in the email from MarchingOrder via [email protected] to make sure your information is correct on the slide for virtual ceremonies. All digital slides will include each student's name, degree and major.
Seniors are asked to check their Penn State emails for further details and ongoing communications regarding the ceremonies. 

More information can be found on the University's Commencement FAQ page or on Abington's FAQ page.

About Penn State Abington

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With nearly 3,500 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 23 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer Honors College, NCAA Division III athletics and more.