• Congrats! Class of 2021

Commencement 2021

2021 Commencement Progra Cover - Click to download PDFGraduating seniors, we are excited to be holding in-person commencement to celebrate your accomplishments. There will be two ceremonies held in Lysaker Gymnasium on Saturday, May 8, as we follow proper COVID-19 protocols from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health. Ceremony times will be at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and have been split by Academic Divisions:

  • 10 a.m.
    Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education
  • 2 p.m.
    Math, Science & Technology
    Agriculture and Natural Resources

Graduates attending can bring two guests.

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Order of Events

Order of Events

Commencement Program PDF File Icon 2021 Commencement Progra Cover - Click to download PDF

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause presiding

The audience will rise for the processional and remain standing for the National Anthem.

"Pomp and Circumstance" by Edward Elger
UMN Crookston & Communi ty String Ensemble

The processional is led by Mace-Bearer Sharon Stewart, PhD. The procession includes Faculty Marshal Kenneth Meyers, MS, faculty, staff, candidates for degrees, and platform guests.

"The Star Spangled Banner"
by Francis Scott Key
UMN Crookston Vocal Ensemble

Please be seated.

Mary Holz-Clause, PhD

Greetings from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents
The Honorable Steve Swiggum, Regent of the University of Minnesota

"I Am a Small Part of the World" by Sally K. Albrecht and Jay Althouse
U of MN Crookston Choir
Directed by George French
Accompanied by Michelle Beeghly

Keynote Address
Wemimo Abbey
Class of 2013

Wemimo Abbey graduated from UMN Crookston in 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in business management. He received his master of public administration (MPA) and non-profit management policy in international relations and affairs from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and is a Queens Young Leader Leading Change Scholar at Cambridge University. Abbey is the founder of Clean Water for Everyone, a social venture that provides access to clean water to thousands of people across multiple countries and is the founder of Esusu, a credit building app and technology platform designed to help people save money and build credit.

Presentation of Candidates
John Hoffman, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

Introduction of Candidates
Dani Johannesen, PhD
Assistant Professor of English

Conferring of Degrees
The Honorable Steve Swiggum

“For Good” by Stephen Schwartz from the musical Wicked
UMN Crookston Vocal Ensemble

Speaking for the Student Body
Paul Hendrickx, UMN Crookston Student Association President

Symbolic Passing of the Torch
Paul Hendrickx

Closing Comments
Mary Holz-Clause, PhD

The audience will rise for the Minnesota Hymn and remain standing for the recessional.

"Hail! Minnesota" by Truman E. Rickard and Arthur E. Upson
UMN Crookston Vocal Ensemble

Recessional and Postlude
George French, EdD
Associate Professor of Music/Theater

The audience is requested to remain in their seats until the recessional has left the gymnasium.

Bren Fox, Rena Sakai, and Allison Martinson

2021 Candidates

Requesting Accommodations Related to Disability

Requesting Accommodations Related to Disability

If you have family members attending the ceremony who use wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, canes, or cannot climb bleacher stairs, you are encouraged to arrange for accessible floor seating. A graduate may request to have up to TWO seats reserved for family members, but if you don’t need them, leave them for others who do.

Reserved seating for the first session (10 a.m.) will be opened at 9 a.m. and held until 9:45 a.m., at which time persons without tickets may be seated in the area. Reserved seating for the second session (2 p.m.) will be opened at 1 p.m. and held until 1:45 p.m., at which time persons without tickets may be seated in the area. To request reserved seating, email your name (graduate), the number of reserved seats needed, and an email address where tickets can be sent to Brian Follette bfollett@umn.edu by April 23. Tickets will be emailed to you.

Tickets for reserved seating will be sent out to the specified address on or before May 7.

Commencement Instructions for Students

Commencement Instructions for Students

Dress Code

Commencement is a formal ceremony that recognizes the academic achievements of our graduates. The traditional black academic cap and gown is worn by graduates. The cap is to be worn with the top parallel to the floor. The tassel is worn over the right temple until the degrees are conferred. All students participating in commencement are expected to dress in a manner that is in keeping with the occasion.

  • Men: dress pants (no jeans or shorts) with a collared dress shirt with tie
  • Women: dress pants (no jeans or shorts) with a blouse or a dress
  • Candidates will march and stand a good part of the time; thus, low-heeled, comfortable dress shoes are recommended. Avoid flip-flops or beach sandals.
  • Since there are no secure areas to leave personal belongings (jackets, purses, bags, etc.), you should give these items to a friend or family member to hold for you until after the ceremony.
  • Anyone under the influence of alcohol or other drugs will be asked to leave and will not be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Honor Cords and Additional Adornments

Official University of Minnesota honor cords denoting graduation with Distinction and High Distinction (distributed through the Office of the Registrar).

  • Official honor cords denoting participation in the UMN Crookston Honors Program (distributed by the Honors Program).
  • Approved stoles for international students and students who have completed a study abroad experience (distributed through the Office of International Programs).
  • Approved honor cords signifying military service or veterans status (distributed by the University and Alumni Relations).
  • Approved stoles signifying a graduate’s cultural heritage (these are optional and available to purchase through the UMN Crookston Bookstore).
  • A chenille letter M worn on the grad’s left lapel area of the gown denoting participation in varsity athletics (distributed by Athletics and University and Alumni Relations).
  • Lapel pins worn on the left lapel area of the gown or stoles or cords distributed by and representing officially recognized student organizations (note: these must be approved in advance by the Commencement Committee).

The Assembly Process

There will be two ceremonies held in Lysaker Gymnasium as we follow proper COVID-19 protocols from the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health.

Ceremony times will be at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and have been split by Academic Divisions:

  • Business and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education at 10 a.m.
  • Math, Science & Technology and Agriculture and Natural Resources at 2 p.m.

Degree candidates are to arrive 40 minutes prior to your assigned ceremony time to the north side of the Sports Center (facing the mall) where volunteers will provide you with your name card and you will line up for the processional. If you wish, you may write your phonetic spelling on this card. Do not lose the card. As you cross the stage during the ceremony, you will stop and hold the name card in front of the name reader who will announce your name. Degree candidates will line up (in the order you wish) on the mall. In case of inclement weather, we will line up in the gym of the Wellness Center gym. Six-feet social distancing will be maintained in the line-up, processional, and throughout the ceremony. It is important you arrive on time. Those arriving late may be excluded from the processional and ceremony.  

Instructions for Receiving Diploma

A student marshal will usher you to the stage. Diploma holders will be found on your seat which you may carry to the stage. Hold your name card (which you received from the student marshal before the ceremony) in front of the name reader at the top of the steps. After your name has been read, proceed across the stage. No “selfies” are allowed to be taken on stage. After receiving the diploma, all candidates will return to their seats. 


A photographer will be taking photos during the commencement ceremony and as you cross the stage with your diploma holder. Again, we ask you to carry your diploma holder (found on your chair) to the stage. As you cross the stage, stop for a photograph with Chancellor Holz-Clause. A photo gallery of the event will be created following commencement where you will be able to view and download photos. Check back after Commencement for the link.

Items to Remember

  1. Degree candidates must remain standing until after the National Anthem.
  2. Male degree candidates must remove caps for the National Anthem. Watch the platform guests to see when they remove and replace their caps.
  3. All degree candidates will receive a name card from the student marshal before the ceremony which you will hold directly in front of the name reader on stage when you go to cross the stage. Do not walk across the stage until your name has been read.
  4. For the recessional, follow the student marshal out the north door of the gym.

Commencement Instructions for Faculty & Staff

Commencement Instructions for Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff participating in commencement should arrive 30 minutes prior to the event in your Regalia. Line up in the hallway that leads from the Sports Center to the Wellness Center.

Ken Myers will serve as "Mace Bearer" for the 10 a.m. ceremony and Sharon Stewart for the 2 p.m. ceremony and will assist in lining you up for the processional. Six-feet social distancing will be maintained in the line-up, processional, and throughout the ceremony.

On your chairs will be a program and a confetti stick. The confetti sticks are launched over the graduates at the end of singing Hail! Minnesota on the final word "star". To use the confetti stick, hold the bottom and raise your arm above your head. Flick your wrist and swing your arm and the confetti will float in the air.

2021 Grad Fest

2021 Grad Fest

Your Guide to Commencement
“No Hassle for your Tassel”

Post Graduation Survey

In lieu of our typical Grad Fest event held each spring, please review the information below as your official guide to commencement.

UMN Crookston holds a campus-wide ceremony each year in May. As we follow CDC and COVID-19 guidelines, it is likely there will be multiple ceremonies held this year.

Commencement is an event that includes the wearing of the traditional academic cap and gown by graduates and faculty. Commencement is not a certification of graduation. Your graduation date and transcript date will be different from your commencement date.

The Registrar’s Office will be auditing APAS report(s) for each spring semester degree applicant after final grades for spring semester have been submitted to verify all graduation requirements have been met successfully. Those with incomplete requirements will not graduate. Therefore, it is vital you review your APAS report now to make sure you have met your graduation requirements. Please see the attached document with these instructions, contact the Registrar's Office with any questions, umcreg@crk.umn.edu.

You can purchase your cap and gown through the UMN Crookston Bookstore and will receive 20% off through April 10, 2021. You can also purchase diploma frames, class rings, and invitations from the bookstore website. There will be special pricing on many items from those categories as well. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 218-281-8335 or email us at umcbooks@umn.edu.

Graduating students will walk across a stage that has been set up with a ramp on one side to accommodate mobility needs at the ceremony. There will be an ASL interpreter to provide sign language at the ceremony. If you have a disability that requires assistance on or to the stage, a sound-enhancing device, or any other adjustments that we can make so that you can celebrate this day without barriers, contact Brian Follette at bfollett@crk.umn.edu or at 218-281-8586 with any questions or concerns. In addition, we will have a limited number of spaces reserved for main floor seating for our guests with disabilities. Please contact Brian to reserve those spaces.

If you borrowed federal student loans, your loan servicer will be reaching out to you soon. You'll also get a personalized email from me with information on exit counseling and the amount you borrowed from UMN Crookston. If you have any questions, contact Caylin Scheff at cscheff@umn.edu.

As you are closing in on your time at the UMN Crookston, we would appreciate it if you would submit your name and email address. This will sign you up to receive four future email surveys upon your graduation, at three months out, six months out, and one year from graduation. We would greatly appreciate you completing these surveys as this gives us accurate data on what our graduates are doing and if there is any way we can help you and our future graduates.

Upon graduating, you automatically become a member of the UMN Crookston Alumni Association. You can look forward to receiving the Torch alumni magazine twice a year and other correspondence from our office regarding events such as alumni socials, Homecoming, Ag Arama, athletic alumni events, etc.

As life takes you places, please be sure to keep us up-to-date. To update your contact information or to provide an update as to what you're doing (work, family life, etc.) complete the Keep in Touch form.

Do you have a job lined up immediately following graduation? If so, please contact Shawn Smith at smithsd@crk.umn.edu and provide your name, major, job title, company, a piece of advice for future Golden Eagles, and a photo if possible. We will include this in our Employed Eagles section in the next issue of the Torch alumni magazine.

The first step in the grad gifting of your laptop is click on the link below and provide us the mailing address you will be using once you leave UMC. There is no need to return your laptop to the Computer Help Desk. Once we verify you have met all graduation requirements with the Registrar's Office, we will mail a USB stick with instructions. You must reload your UMC laptop in order to ensure it will continue working properly once you are no longer a student. Congratulations on your graduation. Submit your mailing address.

Congratulations, graduate!