Spring Commencement Exercises at East Tennessee State University scheduled for May 7-9 will be in-person events. During the course of those three days, we will confer degrees to members of the Class of 2021 and also recognize the Class of 2020 who participated in virtual ceremonies last year. The health and well-being of everyone who will gather for the celebration is our highest priority. As part of our safety plan, we will hold several ceremonies and each graduate will receive four tickets for their guests. These and other measures are being taken to support a safe environment for our guests, graduates, and all participants during the ceremonies.
Times & Live Streams
All events will be held in the Mini-Dome. Tickets will be required for entry.
Links to live streams will be added prior to each ceremony.
Thursday, May 6
- 10 a.m. Gatton College of Pharmacy
- 2 p.m. Quillen College of Medicine
Friday, May 7
- 10 a.m. Class of 2020 (May and December graduates)
- 3 p.m. Class of 2021 College of Arts and Sciences
Saturday, May 8
- 10 a.m. Class of 2021 Clemmer College and College of Public Health
- 3 p.m. Class of 2021 College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences and College of Nursing
Sunday, May 9
- 1 p.m. Class of 2021 College of Business and Technology, Cross-Disciplinary Studies, Pharmacy Studies, Biomedical Sciences, and Global Sport Leadership
*We will not be holding a graduation practice/rehearsal.
For information about cap and gown, please visit: https://www.etsu.edu/reg/graduation/studentregalia.php.
- Ceremonies will last approximately 1.5 hours.
- Attendance will be limited.
- In-person speakers and stage party members will be limited to those participating in ceremony. All seating on stage is assigned and socially distanced.
- Students will cross an ADA-compliant ramp as their name is called. Students will be distanced as they cross the ramp.
- There will be no handshaking.
- Doctoral and professional students will be hooded by a college representative.
- Students will pause at the ramp for a formal photo. Masks may be removed temporarily for the photo.
- Graduates will return to their seats on the field after they cross the ramp. See the exit procedures for graduates and guests listed under Ceremony Information below.
- Face coverings are required at all times while inside the mini-dome.
- Tickets are required for entry.
- Graduates will enter the Mini Dome through center doors on ground level. Blue and Gold balloons will mark the entrance.
- Doors will open for graduate entry 60 minutes before the ceremony start time.
- Graduates are asked to bring as little as possible inside the venue with them. This will speed up the entry procedure and reduce chances of lines. The university’s clear-bag policy will be enforced. Metal detectors and wands will be in place and graduates will be screened on entry.
- On arrival, graduates will pick up their card at designated registration tables. The card will be used as the graduate crosses the stage.
- Graduates will be directed to an assigned seat on the field. All seating is socially distanced.
- Once they have checked in, graduates will be asked to remain in their assigned seats unless they need to use the restroom. Group photos will not be allowed on the field.
- Face coverings are required at all times while inside the mini-dome.
- Doors will open for guest entry 60 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. Entrances will be on the East and West side of the Mini Dome for guests. Please note on guest ticket which entrance to use.
- Tickets are required for guest entry, regardless of age.
- Guests are asked to bring as little as possible inside the venue with them. This will speed up the entry procedure and reduce chances of lines. The university’s clear-bag policy will be enforced. Metal detectors will be in place and guests will be screened on entry.
- After entering the stadium, guests should proceed to their assigned seats.
Graduates will return to their seat on the field after crossing the stage. As the graduate exits the ramp, they will be directed to the professional photographers who will take a formal graduation photo. Students will receive information about purchasing photos directly from the photography company, Island Photography. The photo area will be distanced and students may remove their face coverings for this photo if they choose to do so. Photography staff will remain in their face coverings. Students will then return to their seats. At the end of the ceremony, graduates will be released to exit the Mini Dome at the same place they entered. Graduates are strongly encouraged to make a plan to meet their guests in the parking garage or elsewhere after the ceremony.
Guests are requested to maintain physical distancing as they exit the Mini Dome at the same place they entered. Guests are strongly encouraged to make a plan to meet their graduate in the parking garage or elsewhere after the ceremony.
The building must be clear 30 minutes after the ceremony ends to allow for cleaning.
- Guests will be allowed to enter the stadium with one clear plastic bag.
- Small clutch purses no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches (approximately the size of a hand). May include handle or strap.
- Mobile phones
- Binoculars, cameras, and video cameras (without cases)
- Diapers and non-medically necessary items for babies and young children (must be carried in a clear bag)
- Medically necessary items that must be carried in a specific bag. The bag can be non-clear and will need to be sized proportionately to the size of the medical items.
- Umbrella strollers
- A clear sealed plastic bottle of water. Concession stands will not be open
- Non-clear bags of any size except as listed for medically necessary items
- Drawstring bag
- Fanny pack
- Large purse mesh bag
- Oversize tote bag
- Pattern plastic bag
- Tinted plastic bag
- Diaper bags
- Backpacks of any size
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tobacco products
- Outside food, snacks, beverages
- Open umbrellas
- Selfie sticks
- Unmanned aircraft
- Parcels or presents
- Weapons, including pocket knives
- Hover boards
- Artificial noisemakers
- Large travel strollers
- Posters and signage
- Pets or animals of any kind, with exception of documented service animals.
ETSU Campus and Buildings are tobacco-free facilities. No smoking/vaping is allowed in the Mini Dome or on premises.
All bags and patrons subject to search. ETSU reserves the right to eject patrons for failure to adhere to policies and/or unruly and unlawful behavior.
Health & Safety
- Face coverings are required at all times for graduates, guests, and staff while inside the mini-dome.
- All ceremonies are limited to 680 graduates.
- Guest numbers are limited and tickets are required for all guests, regardless of age.
- All graduate and guest seating is assigned by section and physically distanced.
- All graduate check-in processes are contactless.
- The graduate experience crossing the stage is contactless.
- Reduced numbers of commencement staff will be present in the building. Staff members undergo a health screening before they begin work.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place:
- During and in between ceremonies, all common spaces, including restrooms and touch points throughout the building, and all seating on the field will be cleaned.
- All venue spaces and surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned following each ceremony.
- Guests with East Side tickets are requested to park at the ETSU Millennium Center and use the skybridge to access the Mini Dome from the East side.
- Guests with West Side tickets are requested to park at the ETSU Campus Parking Garage and/or adjacent lots to access the Mini Dome from the West side.
- Guests with Floor tickets are requested to park at the ETSU Campus Parking Garage and/or adjacent lots to access the Mini Dome from the ground level BucSports entrance.
Tickets will be distributed to graduates via email the week of April 19, 2021.
- Each graduate will receive 4 tickets for their guests.
- Tickets are required for all guests, regardless of age. Tickets are not required for graduate entry.
- Graduates are responsible for distributing the tickets to their guests.
- There will be no will-call window at the ceremony. If a guest cannot access their ticket, they should contact their graduate to get the link again.
- Seating for each graduate’s group will be randomly assigned and socially distanced from other groups.
ADA Parking: A portion of the ETSU Parking Garage will be designated for disability parking. Proper credentials are needed to access this area. There is a drop-off area at the intersection of State of Franklin and Harris Drive.
There is limited disability-accessible seating on the gym floor. Only one person in your group will be allowed to sit with the party member requiring accommodations and the other 2 guests will be directed to sit in the stands. This area of seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
ASL sign language interpreters will be present for each ceremony and closed captioning will be featured on screens.
Graduates needing special accommodations on the field should contact email@example.com so we can connect you with the appropriate services.