Auburn readies for spring commencement weekend

University to host in-person ceremonies with continued safety protocols in place

Article body

Auburn’s spring commencement exercises once again will take place in Jordan-Hare Stadium, with the graduation weekend kicking off this Friday, contingent on current health and safety guidelines and weather.

The commencement ceremonies, slated for April 30-May 1, will begin with a commencement address from Auburn alumnus Kenneth Kelly at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 30. Kelly, a 1990 Auburn graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering who also holds an MBA from the University of Alabama, is chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank of Detroit, the seventh-largest African American-controlled bank in the country, and chairman of MAC Leasing, a Michigan-based and minority-owned equipment lease financier.

Open to all graduates and families, the Friday event will also recognize the spring marshals and include the formal conferral of degrees by the Board of Trustees. The commencement address will be immediately followed by the Graduate School ceremony, with guests seated in the stands to allow for physical distancing and access to the stadium’s Pat Dye Field limited to master’s and doctoral graduates and guests only. 

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, the university will host 10 undergraduate ceremonies at assigned times throughout the day. Each ceremony will include brief remarks by the dean, followed by the student processionals. All graduates will receive a copy of the Auburn Creed and pose for an official university photograph alongside their names displayed on the videoboard.

Times for each college are available on the commencement website. Graduates must enter the stadium through gate 10 no later than 20 minutes before their scheduled ceremony time. Upon arrival, graduates will receive a preprinted name card and have their photo taken with Aubie. All ceremonies will be livestreamed on the commencement website for those unable to attend or who have health concerns.

Plans for the spring ceremonies come as the university continues to monitor health scenarios associated with COVID-19. All graduates and guests are required to adhere to all safety protocols posted on the commencement website. Guests should enter the stadium through gates 5-8 and may sit in sections 24–34 to allow for physical distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available and easily accessible to all students and guests.

Contingency plans have been developed in the event of changes to existing COVID-19 regulations or severe weather. These plans include continuing the ceremonies if light rain occurs, adjusting the schedule as needed, and, in the event of inclement weather, transitioning the ceremonies to Auburn Arena where they will be livestreamed without guests. On Monday, May 3, the university will host ceremonies in Auburn Arena for graduates from the Harrison School of Pharmacy at 1 p.m. and the College of Veterinary Medicine at 6 p.m.

Auburn will award 106 doctoral degrees, 744 master’s degrees, six education specialist degrees and 3,485 bachelor’s degrees. The bachelor’s degrees by college and school are: Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, 797; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, 738; College of Liberal Arts, 646; College of Education, 334; College of Sciences and Mathematics, 292; College of Human Sciences, 204; College of Architecture, Design and Construction, 175; College of Agriculture, 164; School of Nursing, 82; and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, 53. 

All participating graduates must wear the proper regalia, which can be picked up at the Auburn University Bookstore April 26-30.

Additional information is available on the commencement website, and information will be posted on the university’s commencement Facebook and Instagram accounts. For questions regarding commencement, please email

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.