Giving It the Old (Providence) College Try: PC Allows Graduates Guests at Commencement
by Nicole Silverio ’22
With the Providence College class of 2021 commencement approaching, College Events and Activities have made changes to rules regarding guests due to COVID-19.
On April 23, the College announced that graduating seniors would be allowed to register two tickets reserved for guests at the Commencement Mass and ceremonies. Only PC students, faculty, staff, and ticketed guests will be allowed entry onto campus on May 19 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., May 20 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and May 21 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Graduates will be able to pick up their tickets for their guests on the morning and early afternoon of May 17 in Slavin. The commencement ceremony will be held on May 20.
This is a welcome relief to seniors after they received an email from Fr. Sicard on March 19, stating, “Unfortunately, it has become clear that the state’s COVID-19 regulations will not allow for a scenario that would include parents and/or guests,” the email said. “We will, of course, livestream the event so that families can see the graduates cross the stage as their names are announced.”
Fr. Sicard added that the commencement date was moved three days earlier than originally scheduled in order to shorten the length of the commencement week with the hopes of decreasing the chances of graduates’ testing positive for COVID.
Hia email concluded, “My pride in the Class of 2021 cannot be overstated. It is a group of remarkable Friars that will forever hold a special place in the College’s history and in our hearts. It will be an honor to preside over this ceremony on May 20.”
The class of 2021 overwhelmingly agreed that they wanted an in-person commencement, according to Fr. Sicard’s email, and they will now have the opportunity to have their time and achievements at PC formally acknowledged in person.
Typically, the commencement ceremony is held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in downtown Providence, but since it is being used as a vaccine clinic, commencement is instead being held at Hendricken Field on campus. If there is severe weather, the ceremony will be held in the Peterson Recreation Center and guests will be moved to off-campus viewing sites due to Rhode Island state guidelines.