Northern State will hold a graduation ceremony

Capitol News Bureau

ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELO) — Northern State University plans a graduation ceremony next month, but attendance will be restricted because of COVID-19.

Only graduating students, faculty and some staff will be allowed inside the Barnett Center for the ceremony November 21.

Parents, family, friends and the public can watch the 10 a.m. event live streamed through the NSU Facebook page and locally on cable channel 12.

The decision to limit attendance came after university officials conferred with area health officials and government agencies about the current increase in COVID-19 cases in Brown County.

Northern State University President Tim Downs said, “We’re committed to holding this ceremony in a safe, responsible manner in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The Aberdeen campus didn’t hold a spring commencement ceremony because of the pandemic.

The November 21 ceremony is open to all 2020 graduates, including those from the spring and summer semesters.

Students throughout South Dakota’s public universities system won’t be returning to campus after the Thanksgiving break and will take final exams online.

The decision for Northern to hold an in-person commencement came after discussion among campus leadership and the university’s faculty senate.

Attendees at the ceremony will be required to wear face coverings as part of South Dakota Board of Regents policy for this fall. Participants will be appropriately spaced throughout the Barnett Center.

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