In-person Graduate Recognition Moments (GRM) for all UTSOA graduates will consist of a guided, socially distanced path where graduates will enter the event space with a limited number of guests, cross a small stage as their name is announced by school leadership, take a professional photo, and exit the venue.
All Graduate Recognition Moments will be live-streamed so that family, friends, and supporters will have the opportunity to celebrate your success and this milestone moment in real-time. Graduates who participate virtually be recognized with a personalized slide and live name announcement as part of the streaming program.
In addition, UTSOA will simultaneously host a virtual ceremony on Saturday, May 22. This celebration will include remarks from the Dean and provide a collective moment of recognition for all graduates.
Students who graduated in December 2020, or will graduate in May 2021 and August 2021 are eligible to participate in the UTSOA Graduate Recognition Moments. The term graduate broadly refers to this group.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you provide more detail about what Graduate Recognition Moments will look like and how they will take place?
As graduates cross the Hogg Memorial Auditorium stage, UTSOA leadership will be on stage and we will announce each graduate’s name, hometown, and 140-character statement. A professional photographer will take photos and the moments will be filmed and live-streamed for at-home viewers. The flow of graduates crossing the stage will be continuous and brief. Guests will enter the auditorium to view the GRM, and will exit with the graduate. There will be no seating in the auditorium throughout the duration of the Graduate Recognition Moments.
Scheduling will be based on degree programs. The final schedule will be shared after RSVPs close.
A limited number of faculty and staff will be lined up (socially distanced) to greet and cheer graduates as they exit. Graduates and their guests are free to depart, take additional photos, or further explore campus at their leisure.
What safety protocols will be in place?
- Social distancing will be maintained throughout the event. 6’ floor markers will line the entire route.
- Face coverings in accordance with University standards are required for all attendees, and must be worn both indoor and outdoor on UT’s campus. They may be removed for the formal stage crossing moment and photography. This policy will be strictly enforced on site.
- Check-in and name announcements will be contactless with a scan process in place for each graduate.
- All staff who work the event and are not vaccinated will be tested prior to May 22nd.
- Graduates who are not already vaccinated are strongly encouraged to take advantage of UT’s Proactive Community Testing Program in the days leading up to commencement.
- Guests who are not already vaccinated are strongly encouraged to take advantage of free testing through their primary care physician or a community clinic before arriving on campus.
- The only indoor element of Graduate Recognition Moments will be passing through Hogg Memorial Auditorium.
I am not attending in-person; how can I participate?
We understand that a significant number of graduates will choose not to attend in Austin and want to ensure this cohort is fully recognized. Virtual participants will be able to submit content for a personalized slide (deadline May 3). More details about this process will be shared in the coming weeks. Moments will be scheduled by degree program and the beginning of each department’s live broadcast will include remote graduate slides. As each graduate’s slide is shown, we will announce each graduate’s name, hometown, and 140-character statement.
How do I know when my moment will take place?
A preliminary schedule (subject to change based on final RSVP counts) will be released in April with the RSVP email. The final schedule will be released in mid-May.
Will I need to RSVP?
Yes. An RSVP email will be sent to all eligible UTSOA graduates. This email will be sent in mid-April and will include more event details and instructions on how to RSVP.
How many guests may attend with me?
Two guests will be allowed to attend with each graduate. Children under 3-years will not be included in a graduate’s guest count.
Do my guests need to RSVP?
No, guests do not need to RSVP. We are planning for every graduate to bring up to two guests with them.
Do I need to wear a cap and gown? If so, where can I buy them?
You are welcome (and encouraged) to wear a cap and gown, but not required. If you choose not to wear regalia, the dress code is professional dress, commensurate with the event. Should you wish to purchase regalia, it can be purchased University Co-op. In order to receive your regalia prior to the Commencement Weekend, orders must be placed by April 30.
What are the University’s current plans?
The university-wide Commencement for the Class of 2021 will be held Saturday, May 22, 2021, at 8 p.m. in the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (DKR). Tickets will be required for graduates and their guests. Based on current capacity and social distancing guidelines, limited tickets will be available for guests. Commencement will include the traditional Tower lighting and fireworks display. It will be broadcast and streamed live so additional family and friends will be able to watch if they are not able to attend in person. The University will send separate communications about ticketing and logistics for the stadium ceremony. You must RSVP for the UTSOA Graduate Recognition Moments and UT Commencement separately if you wish to attend both. Refer to the University Commencement site for the most up-to-date information.
Is there a chance the Moment of Recognition will be canceled and “go virtual” like last year?
All plans for Commencement are being guided by the COVID Investigating Committee and based on current public health guidelines. They have been developed to celebrate safely and responsibly. Plans will be evaluated monthly by the COVID Investigating Committee and are subject to change based on changing conditions.
Are face coverings required?
Face coverings in accordance with University standards are required for all attendees, and must be worn both indoor and outdoor on UT’s campus. They may be removed for the formal graduation stage crossing moment and photography. This policy will be strictly enforced on site.
How can Graduate Recognition Moments be viewed and shared with family, friends, and supporters?
All moments and the virtual ceremony will be live-streamed and accessible via a unique URL. Links will be shared in a final logistics email and also available on the UTSOA site in May. UTSOA social media accounts will include regular updates. Follow our social accounts now so you don’t miss updates.
How do I request accommodations for myself or my guest?
Graduate Recognition Moments and the UTSOA virtual ceremony will be closed-captioned. As part of the RSVP process, you will be able to submit additional accommodation requests for yourself or your guests.
What if it rains?
We will make a rain call by Thursday, May 20. All graduates who RSVP will receive an email with additional instructions.
What about parking?
All University garages will be free over Commencement Weekend. The suggested garage for UTSOA has not yet been finalized by Parking and Transportation Services.
What can I bring with me to Graduate Recognition Moments?
Purses and small bags (up to the size of a backpack) are allowed. Small, foldable strollers (less than 2’ in L or W) for small children are allowed. Coolers, foldable chairs, and bags over 20” in L or W are not allowed. Bottled water and other non-alcoholic beverages are allowed.
How can I submit a song for the graduate playlist that will be played while I wait in line for my moment?
Submit your song request HERE by May 8. All songs are subject to approval by the planning team. Songs that include hate speech, foul language, etc. will not be included.
How can I purchase photos from my moment?
Flash Photography is the University’s official photography partner and will take stage crossing and green screen photos of every graduate in attendance at moments. Photos will be accessible and may be purchased from Flash Photography.