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University of Rochester to hold hybrid commencement

The University of Rochester says it will be conducting “hybrid” commencement exercises this year, meaning  eligible graduates, faculty and staff can participate in-person, but family and friends will have to watch the ceremonies online.

A letter from UR President Sarah Manglesdorf to the university community said that while there is a “promising increase” in COVID-19 vaccinations locally and nationally, the virus remains a serious threat to public health.

Manglesdorf said that the hybrid commencement will be held on the weekends of May 14-16 and 21-23. She said that the current policy at the university is to keep the campus closed through the end of the academic year. Manglesdorf did say that the approach is subject to change as the university continues to await guidance from New York state.

Manglesdorf wrote that officials realize that limiting commencement to students, faculty and staff “is a significant disappointment” for students and their families, but she said that the welfare of students, faculty, staff and the community is the main concern.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.