Class of 2020 finally graduates alongside the class of 2021 in May

Maryville College announced that in-person commencement ceremonies will be held for the class of 2020 and the class of 2021 this May.

Unlike other schools across the country, Maryville College has decided to hold all graduation activities and ceremonies in person.

The class of 2020’s commencement ceremony will be held on May 8, 2021, at 3:30 p.m. with Tom Bogart, President Emeritus, delivering the commencement speech. 

The class of 2021’s commencement ceremony will be held May 9, 2021, at 3:30 p.m.; Cassius Cash, Superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will be speaking. 

Graduating seniors are allowed to attend the Baccalaureate services for the class of 2021 on May 9th at 10 a.m. in The Clayton Center. The class of 2020 had a virtual Baccalaureate service last year. 

Graduation ceremonies will be held on Honaker Field, weather permitting, to ensure that guests and graduates can safely social distance due to COVID-19 protocols. Due to social distancing requirements, each graduate will receive four tickets for guests of their choosing to attend the ceremony. 

“In the event of inclement weather, graduates will move to the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre, located in the Clayton Center for the Arts,” according to the Maryville College website. If graduation has to be moved into the Clayton Center, only graduates and college officials will be allowed to attend due to COVID-19 guidelines. 

“Graduates and guests will be expected to wear a mask and social distance throughout the entire ceremony,” Suzette Donovan, Assistant to the President, Board Liaison and Commencement Coordinator said. 

Many students and community members questioned why the ceremony isn’t going to be on Anderson Lawn like in previous years. 

“We decided that using the football field that graduates will be able to have chairs that are socially distanced, and we would have more space for guests to do so,” Donovan said. 

Graduates will still be able to touch the Covenant Stone before graduating as done in previous years. 

The ceremonies, whether on Honaker Field or in The Clayton Center theatre, will be live streamed on the Maryville College Facebook page and will be later posted to the Maryville College website ( 

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