On Feb. 4, 2021, UNT announced the university would host in-person commencement ceremonies for Spring 2021 graduates April 30 - May 1 at Apogee Stadium. An in-person ceremony exclusively for Spring and Summer 2020 graduates was held April 29 at Apogee Stadium.
Questions about In-Person Commencement Ceremonies at Apogee Stadium
What elements were included in the commencement ceremonies at Apogee Stadium?
The commencement ceremonies included remarks from the administration and the ceremonial conferral of degrees. Doctoral, master's and undergraduates were celebrated together with other graduates from their academic college.
Did graduates cross the stage?
No. To ensure proper social distancing was observed, graduates remained in their seats for the duration of the ceremony. We understand crossing the stage is an important part of a commencement experience, but while our community struggles with the very real effects of a deadly pandemic, UNT chose to omit this element. After evaluating the many event formats adopted by organizations across the nation, we felt this was the most responsible, inclusive and safest format available for graduates, guests and the whole UNT community at the time. We look forward to the day when crossing the stage will again be incorporated into our ceremonies, but at the time, individual recognition of graduates continued to take place virtually, during College Recognition Ceremonies. Spring and Summer 2020 graduates were recognized individually in August 2020 during online ceremonies available for viewing on YouTube. We do not know when we can safely resume that element at commencement ceremonies. We join more than 17,000 UNT graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 in disappointment that crossing the stage cannot be incorporated into current commencement exercises.
I couldn't/didn't want to participate in ceremonies this semester. May I postpone my participation to a future semester?
We do not know when we can safely resume full, traditional commencement ceremonies, but whenever that is, it is not likely that space will allow us to invite back all 17,000+ graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021. When ceremonies return to the traditional format, you may contact your academic college closer to see if they are able to accommodate your request.
How did Spring and Summer 2020 graduates know about the April 29 commencement ceremony?
Spring and Summer 2020 graduates were sent three emails and a postcard with information about their ceremony. A link to the RSVP webform was included in the email. RSVPs were accepted through March 26.
How did Spring 2021 graduates RSVP for their commencement ceremony?
RSVPs were accepted until midnight April 14.
Detailed instructions, including the RSVP link and deadline, were emailed to the official UNT email accounts of all students who were approved by the deadline to graduate in Spring 2021. The RSVP link was not posted online, as only Spring 2021 graduates were able to claim tickets.
What was the inclement weather plan for commencement ceremonies?
In light rain, ceremonies were to take place as scheduled. Participants and attendees were asked to dress accordingly. If adverse weather was predicted or imminent at the time of any of the in-person ceremonies, UNT leadership would have considered the viability of delaying the start time of the ceremonies to later on the same day, or even postponing the ceremonies to Sunday, May 2. The decision would have been announced the week of the events, up to three hours prior to the affected ceremony(ies). Last-minute updates would have been posted on commencement.unt.edu and sent via email to graduates.
Fortunately, while rain was predicted during some of the ceremony times, it held off and all five were held at their scheduled times, without rain!
How many guests could graduates to bring?
Graduates were offered four (4) guest tickets, and ticket policies were be strictly enforced.
To comply with stadium capacity guidelines and to keep all commencement attendees distanced appropriately, we did not issue additional guest tickets upon request. We knew this made for a hard decision for a lot of our graduates, and it was certainly not ideal to limit the number of guests graduates could bring , but this is one of disadvantages of holding an in-person event during that time. The health and safety of our community was our priority.
The ceremonies were streamed live from commencement.unt.edu for all those who are unable to attend in person, and we appreciated the sacrifices that the class of 2021 made to help keep our community safe.
When and how did graduates get their tickets? How did guests get theirs?
All tickets were delivered digitally to the graduate via email April 26. Graduates needed to determine their invitees (maximum of four) and forward the tickets to their guests for use at the entry gate. Graduates were responsible for ensuring their guests received their tickets and were able to display them on an electronic device upon arrival.
Emails were sent from email@example.com.
Each ticket was single-use, and once scanned at the gate, was deactivated and not allowed for another guest to use or for re-entry. Attendees without a ticket, or whose ticket had already been used, was not be allowed entry but were invited to watch the livestream of the ceremony.
Why were tickets required?
Capacity was limited to allow for proper social distancing and to provide graduates and their guests a safe, accessible and quality experience. Tickets were required for entry at each gate of the stadium.
We were delighted to be able to increase the number of guest tickets to four (4) guests per graduate. In order to do so, we had to strictly enforce the limit.
Were young children required to have a ticket to enter at the gate?
At Apogee Stadium, children three years of age and over are required to have their own tickets for entry. Children under three who were not ticketed had to remain in an adult’s arms or lap throughout the duration of the event. We assigned guest seats in groups of four, and committed to all attendees that they would be seated at least six feet away from other guests.
Note: As we increased our offering to four (4) guest tickets per graduate, this policy was strictly enforced at each gate.
When did the stadium open for each ceremony?
Apogee Stadium gates opened one hour prior to each ceremony's start. Graduates who wanted to participate in a formal processional has to be on site and in line no later than 30 minutes prior to the start time. To reduce disruptions to the program, and out of respect for all participants, late arrivals were seated separately from other grads.
What if a student had a final exam scheduled at the same time as their college’s in-person commencement ceremony?
Students who wanted to attend their in-person commencement ceremony, were encouraged to talk with their professor about rescheduling their final exam for an earlier date. If they were unable to take their exam early, they were asked to send an email to the Registrar's Office to assign them to a different ceremony. More instructions for how to RSVP for that ceremony were be provided after they send the email.
Note: Once issued, tickets were ceremony-specific and non-transferable.
How did graduates request accessible seating or other disability accommodations?
Graduates and guests were able to request reasonable accommodations at the Ticket Office when they arrived.
Was an American Sign Language interpreter be provided?
Yes. Guests who needed to be seated near the ASL interpreter exchanged their assigned tickets at the Apogee Stadium Ticket Office for seats in the ASL section when they arrived at the stadium. Graduates who wanted to participate in a formal processional and needed to sit near the ASL interpreter reported to the Lovelace and McNatt Families Practice Facility 45 minutes prior to their ceremony start time and notified one of the commencement volunteers that they need to be seated near the ASL interpreter.
Were live streams posted online?
Professional photographers were available and stationed in Barnes & Noble in the Union to take your official graduation photo for a limited time on ceremony days.
Questions about Virtual College Recognition Ceremonies
What elements were included in the virtual College Recognition Ceremonies?
In addition to dean’s remarks, each graduate’s name was read aloud and displayed onscreen, along with the degree granted, Latin Honors and major professor, if applicable.
How were graduates able to make sure the announcer pronounced their name correctly?
Spring 2021 graduates who applied and were approved for graduation by the deadline were sent emails detailing the process to submit phonetic name pronunciation.
Questions about Regalia, Rings and Announcements
I would like to know pricing and tassel color for my regalia. Where can I find this information?
Learn about Spring 2021 pricing, tassel colors and ordering deadline dates. Please note, all regalia purchases were final and cannot be returned to the store or vendor for refunds. Regalia can be purchased in the Barnes & Noble campus store Monday, March 22 through Saturday, May 8.
What if I can't afford to purchase or rent a cap and gown?
We know some of our students are not able to afford the price of a cap and gown and therefore choose not to celebrate their huge academic accomplishment. The Dean of Students office has created the “Mean Green Gowns for Grads” program to support low income and first-generation UNT students with a free rental of graduation caps and gowns. In addition to a cap and gown, recipients will also have the option to participate in a free photo session to provide them with graduation pictures. And because we knew that it has been an especially hard year for our 2020 graduates who may be struggling to make ends meet, the Dean of Students office made the program available to Spring and Summer 2020 graduates who returned to attend their in-person ceremony on April 29 at Apogee Stadium. Learn more about the program and how to apply.
For answers to other regalia, ring and announcement questions, email SM8085@bncollege.com.
Questions about Diplomas, Diploma Covers and Programs
Can I still get a commencement program ?
Programs and diploma covers were available for pickup by appointment at the UNT Alumni Center (Gateway 170) during Graduating Student Week, April 26 through May 1. Now that commencement has ended, if you still would like to pick up a program or diploma cover, you may do so at the Registrar's Office counter on the first floor of the Eagle Student Services Center. Digital programs for Spring & Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 are posted on the commencement website. UNT will not be mailing programs or diploma covers.
Why won’t my diploma come with my diploma cover?
The program and diploma cover you pick up from the UNT Alumni Center during Graduating Student Week April 26 through May 1 are gifts to you from UNT. Diplomas are printed and mailed by a vendor UNT contracts with to produce and distribute the documents. Graduates should begin receiving diplomas after grades are final and the Registrar’s Office confirms completion of all degree requirements (within eight weeks of commencement). It is the responsibility of the graduate to ensure UNT has the correct mailing address on file. Graduates were asked for their diploma address on the graduation application and should verify and/or update their mailing address by logging into my.unt.edu with their EUID and password.
When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas are printed and mailed to official UNT mailing addresses within eight weeks of commencement following the receipt of final grades and after verification that the candidate has met all requirements for graduation. It is the responsibility of the graduate to ensure UNT has the correct mailing address on file after graduation. Learn more about diplomas.
What address will the diplomas be mailed to?
Diplomas will be mailed to the official UNT mailing address within eight weeks of commencement. Graduates should verify and/or update their mailing address by logging into my.unt.edu with their EUID and password.