Summer commencement will be virtual at UAB

In response to increasing case numbers and hospitalizations and in consultation with UAB infectious disease and public health experts, UAB is canceling large indoor events to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the community.

2021 summerjpgCommencement for the University of Alabama at Birmingham this summer will now be held virtually, after large, indoor gatherings have been canceled due to increasing COVID-19 infections. UAB hosted virtual commencement ceremonies throughout 2020. 

Three ceremonies had been scheduled Aug. 13-14 for UAB’s Bartow Arena, where the university normally hosts commencement celebrations. However, due to the Delta variant, rising COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations are growing rapidly in the state while vaccination rates remain low. In response to this, and in consultation with UAB infectious disease and public health experts, UAB is canceling large indoor events to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the community. As a result, summer 2021 commencement will be held virtually. 

UAB leaders had been looking forward to celebrating the university’s dedicated students and faculty during commencement weekend, and necessary changes to the plans in no way diminish their pride and enthusiasm in student accomplishments, says Provost Pam Benoit.

“We are disappointed and apologize for this change to the special event,” Benoit said. “As we have moved through the pandemic, we have always been prepared to make changes quickly to adhere to the most current health and safety guidelines and that is what we must do now. We are so proud of our students and understand how disappointing this news is.”

UAB is making plans now for hosting the ceremonies online and making every effort to ensure the virtual ceremonies are memorable. More details will be announced as soon as plans are confirmed. Visit uab.edu/commencement for updates.

Graduating students will also have the option to register to walk in future UAB commencement ceremonies. In May 2021, UAB hosted approximately 340 graduates from 2020 and was honored to recognize them.