ECU to host in-person spring 2021 commencement ceremonies

GREENVILLE, NC (WWAY) — East Carolina University intends to host multiple in-person university ceremonies at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on May 7 to recognize and celebrate the Class of 2021.

ECU plans to host multiple versions of the university ceremony to ensure compliance with all federal and UNC System guidelines regarding the evolving nature of COVID-19. Masks will be required by all graduates and attendees, and social distancing guidelines will be strictly enforced.

Despite the easing of some restrictions by the North Carolina Governor’s Office, ECU will not host any other in-person college or department ceremonies for spring 2021.

All ECU spring 2021 graduates, including those earning undergraduate, masters, doctoral and professional degrees, will be required to complete an RSVP form in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. Any graduating students who have not submitted an RSVP by April 9 will not be able to participate in the spring ceremony.

ECU is utilizing the required RSVP process at the direction of the Health Department to ensure safety protocols are followed. Students who have completed the RSVP will receive emailed instructions in April regarding how to submit a request to secure tickets for guests to attend the ceremony. The number of guests permitted for each student will be dependent upon how many RSVP responses are received.

Here is the RSVP link for graduates, which is also active on the ECU commencement website from March 5 – April 9, 2021.

“We intend to host the university commencement ceremony in person this May. It will be the first time we can celebrate our ECU graduates in person since December 2019. That seems like a lifetime ago,” said Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson. “We hope the positive trends related to COVID-19 continue tracking in the right direction and we can be together for this important collegiate milestone. There will be some things that are a bit different but being together, safely, we know is important.”

The university continues developing these plans and more details will be shared with graduates and families as plans are finalized.

Note: A significant increase in COVID-19 cases in our area would require the university to reevaluate plans for in person ceremonies, regardless of how close the event date may be.

ECU’s spring and fall classes of 2020 will be able to participate in the May 2021 ceremony and additional information will come from the ECU Alumni Association during the week of March 8-12.

For questions about Commencement or the RSVP, process visit here or email

Categories: NC, NC-Carolinas, News, Top Stories

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