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What you need to know about how each college at ASU will celebrate graduation

The State Press created a guide on how ASU colleges plan to celebrate graduates this semester

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“Your guide to virtual commencement.” Illustration published on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

ASU's Spring 2021 University-wide graduation ceremony will be held virtually once again, but each college at the University has developed its own unique plans to celebrate graduates.

The State Press has compiled the current plans in place for each college from documents provided by the University and will continue to update it as needed.

ASU's University-wide presentation will premiere May 3 and that week, each college plans to have its own smaller celebration either in person, virtually or in a hybrid model.

Some details are still being determined. Graduates should receive communication from their specific college about exact plans, how to register and how to attend any events.

Barrett, The Honors College

Barrett, The Honors College will post a virtual commencement ceremony for graduates May 3 at 9 a.m. Throughout the day, Barrett will host small in-person celebrations on each campus.

At the West campus, Barrett students can meet in person May 3 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Paley Gates for a photo opportunity and at Fletcher Lawn for a gift. Students must register for the event through Aventri, ASU's event registration service, to choose their arrival time. Each arrival time will accommodate 38 graduates. Each group will have 30 minutes to greet faculty at the photo opportunity before heading to Fletcher Lawn.

At the Polytechnic campus, Barrett students can meet in person May 3 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. After registering through Aventri, groups of 40 graduates can wear their regalia and participate in an informal walk. After the walk, faculty and staff will provide awards and gifts to graduates.

At the Tempe campus, Barrett students can meet in person May 3 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Students will register for the event through Aventri in groups of 40. In the Great Court, Academic Court, Palm Court and Gold Dome, students may celebrate their accomplishments with faculty.

At the Downtown Phoenix campus' Mercado, students will have the opportunity to meet in person May 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. At the Mercado, awards will be presented from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Starting at 11 a.m., there will be two 30-minute sessions where the dean will be in regalia to greet the seniors and give them their medallions. Students will also be provided with gifts and "brunch boxes." Graduates must register on Aventri to attend this event. 

Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation

Students in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation will be able to celebrate their graduation in person May 3 and May 4 in the Health North building on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The events will be broken down by program: nursing, health careers and Ph.D. and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Groups for the events will consist of 50 or fewer people.

Dean Judith Karshmer and Associate Dean Katherine Kenny will give remarks. The names of the student attendees will be read and they will receive a gift from the college. There will be a photo station in the lobby available to students. These recognitions will be livestreamed for family and friends to view at home. Registration is required to attend.

College of Global Futures

Students in the College of Global Futures will have the opportunity to attend an in-person college leadership meet and greet May 3 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

The event will be held outside Wrigley Hall by the ASU charter on Cady Mall on the Tempe campus. At the event, students will have the opportunity to meet with the deans and directors of the college for photo opportunities. The college plans to hold an in-person celebration for new graduates and young alumni later in the summer.

College of Health Solutions

On May 3 at 5:30 p.m. the College of Health Solutions will be hosting a virtual celebration and watch party featuring University required videos, the presentation of outstanding graduates, the dean's address, messages from faculty members and the reading of graduate names.

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in-person graduation events will be hosted May 4 and 5.

Doctoral students may partake in a hooding ceremony and photoshoot over the next few weeks to be incorporated into the virtual ceremony.

In the J. Russell and Bonita Nelson Fine Arts Center plaza, there will be a mini celebration for both graduate and undergraduate students to celebrate in person. There will be 40 or fewer students in each group who would participate in a 45-minute program to hear a message from the dean and have their names called.

Music students will have the opportunity to perform at the events.

The school is planning on having eight slots to accommodate 361 students total, but could potentially open additional slots May 3.

College of Integrative Sciences and Arts

In addition to the virtual convocation, the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts plans on having college-wide events from May 3 to May 8. There will be photo opportunities for students with the dean on the Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and Tempe campuses.

For students who are receiving a master's in liberal studies and organizational leadership, the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts will be hosting virtual graduation receptions May 8 and sending personal invitations to the events with gifts for each of the graduates leading up to the events.

The faculty of counseling and counseling psychology plan to do program-specific virtual and in-person hooding ceremonies for graduate students May 6 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Neeb Hall on the Tempe campus.

The faculty of science and mathematics on the Polytechnic campus plan to collaborate with the faculty of Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication to offer as many in-person events as possible to meet the needs of the graduate students. Each event will be limited to 50 people.

The faculty of languages and cultures on the Downtown Phoenix campus plan to offer communication immersion majors a reception on the Downtown Campus.

Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will be hosting many events for graduates. 

There will be a hybrid event for Ph.D. graduates in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering. May 3 at 10 a.m. a total of 45 people can meet either in Neeb Hall or via Zoom. In this celebration, faculty will honor engineering Ph.D. graduates. Family and friends are invited to attend on Zoom.  

There will also be hybrid events for both the graphic information technology and human systems engineering graduates. Faculty will honor undergraduate and graduate students via a small convocation ceremony and watch party. There will be a limited capacity of 50 attendees, and family and friends are invited to attend via Zoom.

Lake Havasu

ASU at Lake Havasu plans to host a two-part convocation event including a virtual convocation ceremony and a drive-through car parade.

May 8 at 10 a.m., students will participate in the virtual convocation on Zoom with a keynote speaker who has yet to be determined.

May 8 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., students can stop in front of Santiago Hall in the car parade to receive greetings from faculty and staff as well as their diploma covers. Graduates will also have the opportunity to pose for photos. Family and friends will need to remain in the cars and facial coverings will be required.

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College will have an open house May 5 for students receiving their master's degree and May 6 for undergraduates.

For both, the open house will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. Students can sign up for a 30-minute time slot of their choosing to attend. While there, graduating students will be able to walk across a red carpet between Payne and Farmer buildings where they will have their names read by a faculty member, receive a diploma cover, have a professional photo taken, "elbow bump with a member of Leadership" and potentially receive a "swag item."

Each time slot will allow a maximum of 30 students. The college will also have a doctoral hooding ceremony on May 4.

New College

The New College will host a live watch party of the virtual ceremony May 3 at 10:30 a.m., which will include the University-wide presentation followed by the New College convocation.

Each school at the New College will have a 50 person max in-person event following the virtual event with students able to register for a time slot.

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law from April 6 to 8 allowed graduate students to come in person to be hooded in the Beus Center for Law and Society, which was recorded and will be included in the May 3 presentation for the college.

The presentation will be presented on May 3, and students receiving their Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees will have Van Jones of CNN as their convocation speaker. Master of Legal Studies and Master of Sports Law and Business students will have Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs as their convocation speaker.

May 12 at 4 p.m. students will be able to attend a watch party in person or virtually where they can meet and speak to other students and faculty before watching the commencement presentation. Eleven rooms will be used for students meeting in person, with a maximum of 50 people able to be in the largest ones and about 20 in the smallest ones.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

After the University-wide presentation May 3, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will host a live virtual convocation program for graduating students and their families.

The event will feature messages from each of the college's deans, outstanding students will be recognized and students will see their graduation slide at the end of the program during the reading of the names.

During the week of May 3, the College will host a series of outdoor gatherings in the covered parking lot adjacent to Armstrong Hall. Each college will have its own assigned date and time for groups of students to attend. Fifty people will be allowed at each time. Graduates will be able to meet with their faculty and college leadership, pick up their diploma cover, take photos and receive a shirt and "swag bag."

Ph.D. students will be invited directly to the in-person time slots for their college.

Thunderbird School of Global Management

The Thunderbird School of Global Management will host three in-person celebrations May 4 at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Each celebration will have a maximum of 45 students, one photographer, the dean and three faculty or staff.

Graduates who attend will be able to take a photo with the dean, collect their diploma cover and receive a gift.

Graduates and family members will also be able to attend virtually.

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication will host an in-person event where graduates can sign up for a time slot for 30 minutes across two or three days in the First Amendment Forum where they can walk across a stage and receive their diploma.

A photographer will be there to take photos. At max, around 20 people would be in the forum at one time. The event will be livestreamed.

Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions will host "Watts LIVE!" for the second year in a row, which is a virtual "talk-show style celebration of our graduates in the spirit of Johnny Carson and David Letterman, featuring Watts College Dean Jonathan Koppell as host," the plan it sent to the University said.

Graduates and their families will attend through Zoom. Break-out rooms will be organized by school so faculty and students can interact more directly.

Groups of 50 students will be able to meet at designated spaces on the Downtown Phoenix campus for a live watch party of "Watts LIVE!"

When the presentation is over, students will be able to receive their diploma cover from their school director or other school leader and have a photo taken.

W.P. Carey School of Business 

Graduate students will have a virtual toast by program from April 28 to May 1.

Throughout the month of April, the business school will host a variety of in-person and virtual events for graduate students.

May 3, graduates and their families will be able to watch the graduation ceremony online and the business school will host "Club Carey" for its graduates.

May 4, graduates will be able to register for 15-minute time slots to receive their diploma cover and hear their name read from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the Dean's Patio on the Tempe campus. There will be 50 people allowed at a time.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. April 15 to reflect the newest graduation plans for the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated “Club Carey” would be in person May 4. The article was updated April 15 at 11 a.m. with the correct event details.

Reach the reporters at and and follow @wmyskow and @LKobley on Twitter.

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Wyatt MyskowProject Manager

Wyatt Myskow is the project manager at The State Press, where he oversees enterprise stories for the publication. He also works at The Arizona Republic, where he covers the cities of Peoria and Surprise.

Lauren KobleyCommunity Reporter

Lauren Kobley is a reporter for the Community and Culture desk at The State Press. She has previously interned with the Fountain Hills Times. 

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

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