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Update: Class of 2020 and 2021 Commencement Celebrations

Dear Class of 2020/2021 Graduates and Families,

We know you have a lot of good questions about the in-person Commencement Celebration scheduled for Sunday, May 2, 2021, at Fenway Park, and we thank you for your continued patience. To help with your planning, we wanted to share some new information about the process and what to expect on our graduates’ special day. 

  • The events will adhere to COVID-19 requirements determined by the City of Boston and Fenway Park. Masks will be required at all times in the park, and guests and graduates will need to attest to being symptom-free on the day of the event. More details on COVID-19 precautions and protocols will be shared leading up to the event.
  • Graduates will be able to claim a ticket for themselves and up to two (2) guests. Each graduate and guest/s will sit together in a three-person pod that is socially distanced from other pods. 
  • Each pod will be assigned a specific arrival time of up to 90 minutes before the start of the ceremony. 
  • To support health, safety, and contact tracing, students and guests will not be permitted to mingle or otherwise explore the park, and once seated, should remain seated unless using the restroom. 
  • Due to restrictions at the ballpark and social distancing requirements, we regret that graduates will not be able to process, cross the stage, or shake hands with President Pelton or others.
  • The in-person celebration will include live remarks from President Pelton and student speakers. 
  • Graduates will be recognized on the Jumbotron with a reading of their name and their slide (see below for more details on this). A reading of the graduates’ names will be featured in each celebration, in-person and online.
  • We are planning to livestream the in-person events.
  • The Fenway Park events will happen rain or shine. Guests are welcome to bring an umbrella in the event of rain.
  • The health and safety of our community are of paramount importance. The City of Boston has the authority to cancel events at Fenway if COVID-19 conditions warrant.


Class of 2021 (December 2020, May 2021, August 2021)

  • Ceremony seating begins at 8:30 a.m.
  • Ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m.
  • Ceremony ends at approximately 12:00 p.m.

Class of 2020 (December 2019, May 2020, August 2020)

  • Ceremony seating begins at 2:30 p.m.
  • Ceremony begins at 4:00 p.m.
  • Ceremony ends at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Attending the Ceremony:

  • Graduates must register to participate and receive guest tickets. Graduates have been notified by email and have until Sunday, April 11, 11:59 p.m. to register.
  • graduates who register will receive a unique passcode via email to use on the ticketing site, which will be sent in the coming days. 
  • Graduates will claim tickets using their passcode on the Red Sox site. 
  • Regalia is not required, but may be purchased until Sunday, April 11. You may also purchase just a cap and 2021 or 2020 tassel, and/or a Class of 2021 or 2020 purple and gold face mask. 

Other Information 

During the month of March, graduates of the Class of 2021 and 2020 were invited to upload information to NameCoach for their Reading of the Graduates’ Names slide, and those slides have now moved to the next stage of production, which is voicing. 

There is now a small window of time when we may add photos to slides that have none. We will accept photos for as long as possible. Please use this form to submit a photo for possible inclusion in your graduation slide. Students who do not submit a photo will be recognized with a text slide and a voiced announcement of their name.

Virtual Events

As previously announced, the College will also premiere a fully produced online 2021 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 9, at 10:00 a.m. for graduates and families. Similarly, the Class of 2020 site will be relaunched on Monday, May 3, with student speeches and awards, and a reading of the graduates’ names to fully welcome them into the alumni community and kick off Emerson Week.

Please continue to visit for the latest updates and additional key information about commencement.

Emerson’s Commencement Committee

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