Spring 2021 Commencement FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Spring 2021 Commencement.
In this Section

Why was the decision made not to include guests? 

The decision to not allow spectators/guests to commencement was based, first and foremost, on safety guidelines and health protocols. We wanted to allow our graduates the opportunity to have the opportunity to walk across the commencement stage in as authentic of a way as possible. 

With social distancing guidelines in place, in our largest facility, the Johnson Field House, we were then able to come up with the number of individuals that would be allowed per ceremony. In no scenario, would we have been able to offer commencement ceremonies with guests, even limited numbers of guests, that would have met the safety guidelines.

  • This decision best prioritized safety while having an element of celebration.
  • Current county health department guidelines limit the number of participants at outdoor and indoor events. Stout has an excellent partnership with our local health department, and they have already granted us an exception to the current indoor capacity for us to hold commencement.
  • Outdoor space on campus was not feasible due to prohibitive costs to cover the turf, no opportunities for a back-up indoor option if weather became a factor, limitations with social distancing for guests, etc.

I do not feel comfortable participating or I am a distance student unable to travel, how will I be recognized?

We understand that some students may not feel comfortable with in-person ceremonies or are unable to attend. If you choose not to participate in-person, we will be posting on the commencement website a virtual ceremony which will include; the recordings of all speeches, as well as a virtual name reading for those not in attendance, to celebrate at home.

The virtual ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 8th and will premiere on both our UW-Stout YouTube page and the Commencement website.

More information regarding the virtual ceremony and participation will be sent directly to graduates who do not RSVP for the in-person ceremonies. 

Where can I be tested prior to the ceremony?

Current students will be eligible to test on campus through our testing site. If you are a current student being tested bi-weekly or weekly due to living on campus, or attending courses in-person, you should continue to follow the current testing guidelines. You should also plan on scheduling your final test three days (72 hours) prior to the ceremony.

Students who are traveling to campus or are distant learners will be eligible to test on Friday, May 7th prior to the ceremony. Detailed information regarding scheduling a test will be sent to all graduates who RSVP, via email, closer to the ceremony date.

Students can be tested at a testing site convenient to them and their geographic location.

All students MUST bring proof of their negative test result that was administered three days (72 hours) prior to commencement day in order to participate. Failure to do so, even with an RSVP for commencement, will result in the student not being able to participate in the in-person ceremony.

How will I know what time my or my students ceremony is held?

Ceremony times are as follows.

9:00 a.m. College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management

11:00 a.m. College of Education, Hospitality, Health and Human Sciences

1:00 p.m. College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences

3:00 p.m. The Graduate School - All Graduate Programs

10:00 a.m. Virtual Ceremony for all Graduating Students

Will there be a professional photographer taking pictures at Commencement?

Yes! Empire Photography will be on site to take photos during the ceremony as graduates cross the stage. Proofs will be emailed to students directly from Empire after the ceremony and will be available for purchase. Pre-register with Empire Photography today by following this link.

Students who choose not to participate can have their photo taken at the Graduation Fair which will be held on Thursday, April 8th. These photos will also be taken by Empire Photography and will be available for purchase.

Where can I purchase regalia for the ceremony?

Students can purchase regalia for the ceremonies or for their personal celebrations, through Stoutfitters, our campus store located in the Memorial Student Center or online through our preferred vendor Herff Jones. Online orders need to be in by Monday, April 12th to arrive in time for the ceremony. 

I am in need of Accommodations or I have questions specific to my situation, who should I contact?

Please call or email the Commencement Office.