Luther College will host an in-person commencement ceremony to celebrate the class of 2021 at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 16. The ceremony will be modified to ensure a safe environment during the ongoing pandemic.
Graduates and a small stage party will gather in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life (CFL). Each graduate will be able to have two guests on campus who will watch a livestream of the event in designated classrooms across campus. The livestream will also be available online for public viewing.
The 2021 Commencement speaker will be Chris Norton ’14. Norton is a motivational speaker and the founder and manager of the SCI CAN Foundation, a non-profit organization focused upon prolonging the health and recovery of SCI (spinal cord injury) individuals by creating more and better therapy opportunities. In 2010, Chris suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury while playing in a football game at Luther. A feature-length documentary, “7 Yards,” was recently released and explores his resilience and perspectives. Norton will address the class of 2021 during the ceremony through recorded comments.
Following the ceremony, graduates, their guests, and members of the faculty and staff will be able to gather briefly outside on Bentdahl Commons and the library lawn.
This year’s commencement will look different from in-person ceremonies of previous years because of COVID mitigation measures. The indoor location will offer improved conditions for livestreaming, seating, and crowd control. To accommodate the class safely, seating will be planned and ticketed, and all participants in the ceremony will take COVID tests. Face masks will be required.
These plans are dependent on Luther’s COVID-19 Indicators and Alert Level which can be found at luther.edu/being-community. Should the Alert Level change to Yellow or Red at the time of commencement, the ceremony will be adjusted accordingly.
Last year, the developing pandemic and dispersal of students from campus prevented an in-person ceremony to celebrate the class of 2020. The Luther College Alumni Office is exploring an in-person celebration for them this fall.