Penn State Brandywine is planning to hold in-person commencement ceremonies to celebrate our Spring 2021 graduates and the completion of their academic journey. Commencement ceremonies are momentous occasions for our students, their families, and our University community, and we are excited to be celebrating in person this spring.
Date, time and location
Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Commons/Athletic Center gymnasium.
For additional details, view the Commencement Map online.
Graduates are assigned as follows:
- 10:30 a.m. — American Studies; Biology; Business; Communication Arts and Sciences; Communications; Engineering; Letters, Arts, and Sciences
- 2:30 p.m. — Human Development and Family Studies; Information Sciences and Technology; Psychology
Graduates should arrive on campus by 9:30 a.m. to check in for the 10:30 a.m. commencement ceremony and by 1:30 p.m. to check in for the 2:30 p.m. commencement ceremony. Check-in will be in the Student Union.
Graduates should bring their cap and gown as well as their electronic GradPass that they will receive after registering on MarchingOrder.
From 9-9:30 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m., a photographer will be available at the Lion Shrine (weather permitting) or in the Student Union (in case of rain) for graduate photos. Except for when the campus photographer is taking photos, graduates will not be able to remove their masks before, during or after the commencement ceremony. Graduates are encouraged to visit campus during the week prior to commencement or the week after commencement if they would like to take additional photos on their own.
The campus bookstore will also be open on Saturday from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
As mentioned previously, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our students, guests and campus community remains of paramount importance, and it is critical that we maintain appropriate physical distancing at our ceremony. With that in mind, each graduate may invite two guests to attend the in-person graduation ceremony. You will receive in your Penn State email a link to the MarchingOrder site where you will enter the names of your guests.
Graduates will each have two e-tickets for guests. Graduates are responsible for pre-registering their guests and ensuring the e-tickets are sent to their guests. Each e-ticket will have a unique seating assignment, due to COVID-19 restrictions and contact-tracing needs.
There will be two Guest Check-in points on campus. Guests may begin checking in at 10 a.m. for the 10:30 a.m. ceremony and 2 p.m. for the 2:30 p.m. ceremony. Ushers will be available to help guests find their assigned seats.
Join Us Virtually
Penn State Brandywine’s MarchingOrder page includes messages from graduates, faculty and staff, as well as a list of graduates who received honors and are veterans.
The ceremonies will also be livestreamed so additional family and friends will be able to watch remotely: https://youtu.be/9Pk7DN_hqyM
The link will be the same for the 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ceremonies.
Public health guidelines
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our students, guests and campus communities remains of paramount importance. Our ceremony will follow requirements for masking, physical distancing, and state and federal guidelines for gatherings, including:
- All students, guests and employees will be required to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing from others to help minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
- All guests who will be attending our in-person commencement ceremony are expected to follow health and safety guidelines when traveling and during commencement weekend.
- Graduating students who would like to be tested for COVID-19 before attending the commencement ceremony will be able to do so by obtaining a test kit on campus.
Please keep in mind that we will all need to remain flexible and continue to follow public health guidelines. While we look forward to celebrating in person, the University is prepared to adjust plans, including shifting to a fully virtual ceremony, if needed, based on changing virus conditions or changes in public health guidelines. More information will continue to be shared and updated as needed leading up to commencement to align the University's plans with the most up-to-date federal and state guidance.
Parking will be accessed through the 352 entrance to the campus. Once you have entered, take a left at the bus circle. There will be a parking checkpoint, and drivers will be directed from there.
If you have a need for Accessible Parking and don't have a hanging placard, please have a sheet of paper on your dashboard indicating that you will need to park in the Accessible area of the parking lot. University Police will check your license plate, but they can assist you more quickly if they can see the paper on your dashboard as you approach the parking checkpoint.
Please note that the Yearsley Mill entrance will be closed for Commencement. For additional details, view the Commencement Map online.
Students should be wearing proper attire beneath their robes. Appropriate attire includes button down shirt or golf shirts, black pants, and/or a dress. Flat dress shoes or black dress shoes are encouraged, as the event will be on grass.
University-wide virtual commencement ceremony
Penn State will also be hosting a University-wide virtual commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 9 at 6 p.m. at virtual.commencement.psu.edu. You may join this University-wide virtual ceremony to celebrate your graduation from Penn State in addition to your participation in our Penn State Brandywine ceremony, or if you and your family members are unable to attend our campus ceremony or prefer to participate virtually.
Celebrating 2020 graduates
Although our May commencement ceremony will only be for Spring 2021 graduates, the University remains committed to inviting the Class of 2020, including graduates from spring, summer and fall, and their guests back for in-person gatherings.
In partnership with the Penn State Alumni Association and in consultation with alumni representatives, the University is planning for a special weekend in spring 2022 to celebrate the members of the class of 2020. More information and a specific date will be forthcoming as the University continues to develop plans to welcome recent graduates and their families back to campuses next spring with a variety of activities and events.
Penn State Brandywine will share information about an on-campus celebration for our 2020 graduates when details are available.