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Top 5 Things to Know about May 2021 Graduation

Top 5 Things to Know about May 2021 Graduation

OU Student in cap and gown with photographer in foreground on OU Campus

Of the countless changes prompted by COVID-19 over the past year, the way it’s affected how life’s biggest moments are celebrated has been one of the biggest adjustments.

This May, with numerous safety precautions in place, the University of Oklahoma has announced it will hold several in-person graduation ceremonies to honor graduates of the Classes of 2020 and 2021, whose academic experience has been extraordinarily impacted by the pandemic.

Here are the top five things you need to know about the May in-person graduation ceremonies.

 1. Safety is Our Top Priority. Under the guidance of University Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler, various safety measures will be incorporated into the ceremonies.

Masks are required for all graduates and guests. Graduates may temporarily remove their mask as their name is announced. Graduates may also temporarily remove their mask as they pose for their “Green Screen Photo.” During the doctoral hooding process, both the hooding faculty member and graduate must wear a mask because physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Graduates will be seated in physically distanced seats. Groups of guests will be socially distanced from other groups.

OU-Tulsa only: All OU-Tulsa graduates and attendees will have their temperature checked upon entering the Mabee Center, per Oral Roberts University policy.

2. Graduates: Don’t Forget to Register. To participate in the May in-person ceremonies, graduates must register.

Registration deadlines:

  • Norman Campus: 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 1
  • Health Sciences Center: 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, April 7
  • OU-Tulsa: 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 5

Norman campus and HSC graduates have been emailed an individual registration link to register for their ceremony. If you did not receive a link to register, email and include your college, degree and graduation year.

OU-Tulsa graduates can register by completing this form.

Registering to participate is essential, as it leads to our next point …

3. Tickets are Required for Entry. Tickets are required for all graduates, faculty, staff and guests.

Each college has been assigned to a specific ceremony for space accommodation. Norman campus and HSC ticket allotments will be based on the number of graduates who register. Once graduates have registered, we will determine how many guests each graduate may bring.

OU-Tulsa graduates will be able to request up to four tickets.

Registration information for faculty on all three campuses is forthcoming.

4. Be Aware of Venue Security Protocols. Please be aware of, and make your guests aware of, security screenings, Clear Bag Policy and prohibited items.

At the ceremonies held on the Norman campus, all guests and graduates will pass through a security screening before entry to the graduation venue. For quicker entry, guests and graduates are encouraged to not bring bags. Only clear bags can be brought into the graduation venue. Due to security requirements, strollers and car seats are not permitted.

5. Plan Out What to Wear. Norman campus college ceremonies will be held outdoors in The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Since temperatures in May are unpredictable, game day attire is suggested for graduates (under their regalia) and guests.

All graduates must wear a cap and gown.

If you were unable to attend Graduation Gear-Up:

  • Norman campus and HSC graduates may purchase regalia online or visit the Jostens store on the Norman campus, located on the west side of The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium starting March 22 from 12 - 5 p.m. Monday - Thursday.
  • OU-Tulsa graduates can schedule an appointment with OU-Tulsa Student Affairs from 8:15 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday by email or purchase regalia on OU-Tulsa’s specific Jostens website.

For the latest information on OU’s May graduation ceremonies, visit

Article Published:  Wednesday, March 24, 2021