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2021 Commencement

Macalester’s 2021 Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 15.

Congratulations Macalester Class of 2021!

Macalester will celebrate our graduating seniors with two different types of commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 15. First, we will offer two “Grad Walk” celebrations where seniors can gather together and celebrate in-person. Second, we will hold a virtual Commencement ceremony, so that graduates can celebrate with the entire Macalester community, as well as with their friends and family. We hope that graduating seniors will participate in both the virtual Commencement ceremony and the in-person Grad Walk.

Each member of the Class of 2021 is invited to attend Macalester’s in-person Grad Walks. Created in response to the senior survey feedback, these smaller, in-person events allow seniors to gather with their fellow classmates while maintaining the health and safety of our community. 

We will host two Grad Walks on Saturday, May 15, at 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT. All graduating seniors, including those who have been learning remotely, can sign up to attend either the 9:30 a.m. or 4 p.m. walk. Seniors are encouraged to wear their regalia for their walk across the stage, and have a professional photo taken.  

Our initial plans prohibited spectators from attending the Grad Walks, but given the state’s updated guidance for outdoor gatherings, each graduate is now invited to bring two guests. These walks will be also livestreamed for families, friends, and the Macalester community. In case of severe weather, the grad walks will move to the following day.

We will hold a Commencement ceremony through Zoom and Facebook on Saturday, May 15, at noon CDT. All graduating seniors will receive a commencement box to help them celebrate this milestone with family and friends. The boxes will include: tassels, mortarboards, and gowns (made from recycled material), as well as event information.

Students who are not currently living in the Twin Cities, but who would like to attend in-person, will be able to participate in in-person activities, subject to testing protocols. Future communication will include information on testing protocols. 

What’s next

  • Grad Walk Ticketing information was emailed to Graduates on April 19.
  • Commencement boxes will be mailed on April 15. Students who are local can pick them up in the Campus Center after being notified by Mailing Services. Students who are learning remotely will receive their boxes in the mail. 
  • Senior Week events are now posted online with registration information coming soon. Only seniors and those officiating are able to attend Senior Week in-person activities.
  • View the Herff Jones ordering site to place orders for announcements and other graduation products and keepsake items.
  • Please contact if you have questions.

We know that gathering in-person for our traditional Commencement was everyone’s hope. But we simply cannot in spring of 2021. Our plan is to invite the Classes of 2020 and 2021 back to campus in the spring of 2022 to participate in a belated Commencement celebration.