Commencement set to take place in person


Nick Frisina , Staff Writer

Gannon University is set to hold in-person spring commencement ceremonies for the Erie campus on May 8 and the Ruskin campus on May 15.

At this time, no time has been set for the ceremony in Erie.

For the Erie campus, commencement will be held at the Erie Insurance Arena. Due to the large size of the graduating class, the university will most likely hold two separate ceremonies that day.

Similar to the December commencement, the ceremonies will be in-person for graduates only and no guests will be permitted to attend. The decision comes as gathering limits at the venues are restrictive due to the pandemic.

Currently, the state guidance for capacity at the arena is set at 450 people. Although there is a plan for commencement, the plan for Baccalaureate Mass is still in the works.

The Ruskin Campus will have its graduate Mass and commencement ceremony at the Prince of Peace Church. The Mass is set to take place at 9:30 a.m. with the ceremony to follow at 11 a.m. The church has a gathering limit that will also restrict the ceremonies to graduates only.

The ceremonies at both campuses will be recorded or live streamed so that family and friends of the graduates are able to watch.

Graduating seniors shared a sense of disappointment but understanding that the realities of the time force this situation.

Brian Elias, a senior criminal justice major, said that it is unfortunate that his family and friends cannot attend.

“My parents and friends have all been looking forward to my graduation with me and have never yielded in their support of me,” Elias said. “I think that they deserve to be at the commencement ceremony as much as I do because of that.”

However, Elias said that he is still excited that the university is able to offer graduates an in-person ceremony.

“At the end of the day, commencement is a ceremony for us, the students,” Elias said.

“So if we need to restrict attendance to the ceremony in order to make it safe for the whole of the student body to attend, then I am in support of it.”

Nathan Maietta, a senior pre-med and biology major, said that while he was disappointed his family would not be able to watch him walk across the stage, he understood why Gannon made this decision.

“Gannon has to have some restrictions,” Maietta said. “I am just excited that they are still allowing us to walk and participate in such a monumental step in our lives.”

As the date for commencement approaches, the university will continue to provide updates for the plans of the ceremony.


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