This is a big weekend of commencement ceremonies for thousands of college graduates across North Texas. But with the omicron variant and COVID-19 cases on the rise nationally and locally, people are being asked to take precautions.
The University of Maryland announced Thursday that it canceled its winter commencement after a sharp increase in new positive COVID-19 cases on campus.
Locally, there are no such reports of cancellations at local campuses but commencement ceremonies are moving ahead with a strong encouragement for guests to wear a mask and stay at home if they are sick.
At least five major universities will be holding ceremonies between Friday and Sunday. Here are the protocols and details for each school:
- UT Arlington kicks off their winter commencement at Globe Life Field at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. The large stadium has been a popular venue for graduations over the last two years, as it offers plenty of space to spread out. The ticket window has already closed. If you plan to attend, masks are strongly encouraged. Globe Life Field may close the roof due to weather.
- Southern Methodist University is hosting a ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday at Dallas Hall. Another ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Moody Hall. Masks are optional. Tickets and RSVPs are not required.
- Texas Christian University is hosting a 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremony on Saturday inside Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. According to the commencement website, masks are required indoors for all campus events. There's also a clear bag policy.
- UT Dallas ceremonies have been spread out throughout the week. The school wraps up with six ceremonies for different degree programs on Friday. Guest tickets are required. Click here to see the times. Masks and vaccinated guests are strongly encouraged.
- Dallas Baptist University will host commencements at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday. Seating is first come first serve seats indoors at their Pilgrim Chapel Sanctuary. Masks are optional.
The University of North Texas and Texas Women's University held their commencement ceremonies last weekend.