May 15, 2021

On Saturday, Ball State University welcomed back more than 900 graduates whose Class of 2020 Commencement ceremonies were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University held two in-person commencement ceremonies to honor May, July, and December 2020 graduates at Scheumann Stadium on Ball State’s beautiful campus.

“Graduates, you earned your degrees from our University during what we know was an extraordinary year—a year unlike any other since our University was founded in 1918, in the midst of the last global pandemic,” Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns told graduates on Saturday. “The arrival of this pandemic tested you in unprecedented ways. But, despite the challenges of COVID-19, you persevered. And now you are the reason we are here today—we are here to celebrate your success.”

Saturday’s first ceremony, which began at 8 a.m., honored Class of 2020 graduates from Ball State’s R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning, College of Sciences and Humanities, and Teachers College. The second ceremony, which began at noon, honored Miller College of Business, College of Communication, Information, and Media, College of Fine Arts, and College of Health graduates.

Each participating graduate was permitted to allow up to four guests to attend the ceremonies. In total, almost 5,000 guests were ticketed to attend the two celebrations on Saturday.

“As graduates you have endured hardships and overcome the challenges of the past year with grit and with grace,” Mearns said. “You now have the opportunity to apply the skills that you have acquired, the strength that you have gained, and the character that you have demonstrated.”

Combined with the in-person ceremonies celebrating Ball State’s Spring 2021 graduates last weekend, the University has honored almost 3,500 graduates and welcomed more than 18,000 ticketed guests to Scheumann Stadium within the past week.

Physical distancing and other health and safety protocols were followed throughout the seven Class of 2020 and Spring 2021 graduation ceremonies, and the venue was sanitized between each ceremony.

The return of in-person ceremonies have demonstrated Ball State’s progress toward normalcy and its commitment to providing a vibrant experience for every student.