Southern Methodist University

SMU Announces Safety Guidelines for August 15 Commencement Ceremony

The ceremony will be brief, and guests will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing

Southern Methodist University has announced safety guidelines for its upcoming Commencement ceremony on Aug. 15.

The ceremony is set to take place in Gerald J. Ford Stadium at 8:00 a.m. Gates will open at 6:30 a.m.

According to SMU, graduates will be socially distanced in their seats on the field at Ford Stadium with chairs placed six feet apart.

Masks will be required in Ford Stadium at all times, and graduates will receive specially-branded SMU Commencement face coverings, the university said.

The ceremony will not include a procession of students, and graduates will be seated upon arrival.

According to the university, the ceremony will be brief. This year's Commencement will include fewer introductions and speaking parts.

Graduates and families must have a ticket in order to enter the stadium. These tickets will provide key information about security and health during the ceremony, SMU said.

According to SMU, families and guests will be directed to different entry gates in an effort to disperse crowds. Attendees will also be asked to sit only in odd numbered rows with four seats between groups.

Signage will encourage the use of masks, social distancing practices, and hand sanitizing, SMU said. Walk-thru and hand wand screenings will also be performed at the stadium.

According to the Georgia Institute of Technology's COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, at an event with 100 people present, there is a 99% chance that there will be a COVID-19 positive individual.

Additional information about the August Commencement ceremony is available on the SMU website.

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