Calling All Volunteers: Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremonies

Students in graduation caps and gowns stand in lineThe University of Pittsburgh is planning a series of in-person commencement ceremonies through April and May, and volunteers are needed to support these physically distanced events.

“We’re doing our best to ensure the Class of 2021 commencement experience is special in person, but it requires more ceremonies than usual and therefore, many more hands,” said Jason Morrill in the Office of Academic Ceremonies and University Events.

Volunteers will assist in registration and directing the flow of students and families, and will help ensure that all graduates and guests are properly seated.

“Being that my parents helped me in so many ways during my schooling, I feel like this degree is half theirs and I’ve been waiting for the day to have them see me walk across that stage,” said Ravyn Johnson, a first-generation nursing student. “While COVID-19 has taken away many aspects of my senior year, I’ve been holding on thanks to the hope of an in-person graduation.”

Events begin Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m. and run through Tuesday, May 4, at the Petersen Events Center or PNC Park. Parking will be free for volunteers and training will be provided. The proper health and safety protocols will be in place, including face coverings and physical distancing.

“The pride and honor that each student showcases as they walk across the stage is one that can be felt by every person at commencement,” said Heather Hoffman, director of visitor engagement in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid and a roving marshal commencement volunteer for more than 10 years. “Being a part of that magic for our students is something I am honored to do each year.”

Faculty, staff, students and alumni can volunteer by completing this survey. Staff should consult with supervisors before volunteering for events held during regular office hours.