VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University announced Wednesday that graduates will have an in-person commencement ceremony in December. 

Past commencement ceremonies are traditionally held on VSU’s front lawn. However, given the safety measures in place, the university found a different venue. 

“Commencement is one of our favorite days of the year and an experience we always hope to offer to our students in person,” said Vince Miller, VSU vice president of student success. 

While Miller said the front lawn has become iconic, looking at the executive orders and the limitations with crowd management, it was just not feasible, so the university chose its “second favorite place” for the ceremony. 

University officials chose another site familiar to celebrating Blazers: Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. 

The stadium will allow for more strict adherence to safety regulations and easier ticketing for students and their five allotted guests. 

For students such as senior Josh Wells, the announcement means the world. 

"Me and all the other graduates have been waiting on edge," Wells said. "To hear it's something we can do safely is exciting and I know my family will be excited." 

Ceremonies will take place throughout the day to cut down on group sizes with three for undergraduates and one for graduate students. 

Graduates will be recognized from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at 9 a.m.; Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration and College of the Arts at 12:30 p.m.; James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services, College of Science and Mathematics, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences at 4 p.m.; and Graduate School at 7:30 p.m. 

All ceremonies will be held Monday, Dec. 14.  

Holding true to their word, Valdosta State University is allowing 2020 summer and spring graduates to participate in the ceremony; a promise made when those graduations were canceled earlier in the year. 

Masks will be required for all ceremonies and social distancing will be enforced. All ceremonies will be live-streamed on the VSU website. 

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