Graduation

Keene State College’s commencement ceremony in 2018.

Keene State will hold an in-person commencement ceremony May 29, but graduates will not be able to have any guests on campus for the occasion, college leaders announced Wednesday.

President Melinda Treadwell, Provost Ockle Johnson and Associate Vice President for Student Engagement Jen Ferrell shared the decision in an email to students that was also posted on Keene State’s website.

“Commencement typically is host to thousands of people. We cannot take that large of a risk during the pandemic,” they wrote. “For that reason, we are saddened to say that we cannot accommodate guests, families and others who wish to attend in person during the ceremony, even if they are vaccinated. We recognize this [is] a great disappointment, and it is for our whole College community, too.”

The college will livestream all commencement events so graduates’ families and friends can participate virtually.

“Please know we truly wish we could all celebrate in person together,” school leaders wrote to students. “We are happy that we can plan to host you in person, and maintain safety.”

Keene State employees and other college community members participating in Keene State’s COVID-19 surveillance testing will be able to attend the in-person commencement activities, according to the post online.

This marks the second year that the coronavirus outbreak has caused Keene State leaders to alter graduation plans. The school postponed the class of 2020’s commencement until October, when the college hoped to have an in-person ceremony before switching to a virtual celebration.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.