Trinity’s Class of 2021 has been through a lot. Spring Break 2020 turned into a campus hiatus for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Their senior year was filled with hybrid classes, altered living arrangements, and limited organized social activities. Throw in a historic, campus-crippling winter apocalypse, and you might say they’ve seen it all.
Come Saturday, May 22, they will make history once again as they celebrate a commencement day unlike any other at Trinity.
Two separate undergraduate commencement ceremonies will be held in Trinity’s newly-renovated football stadium. The first, beginning at 8 a.m., will be for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music candidates. The second service, to be held at 11 a.m., will host Bachelor of Science candidates. Graduate students will take place in Laurie Auditorium at 3 p.m.
Many more details on the services can be found on the Trinity commencement website.
“Our 2021 graduates deserve this. They have shown grace, patience, and resiliency during their last three semesters at Trinity, and I am so happy they will have the opportunity to celebrate with classmates and family in person,” says Danny Anderson, University president. “It wasn’t easy for them. But the unique lessons they have learned will serve them well as they begin their journeys as Trinity graduates.”
ProtecTU protocols will be followed during these events, and each undergraduate and graduate degree candidate will be allowed a maximum of four ticketed guests who will be seated in a socially-distanced manner inside the stadium or in Laurie Auditorium. In-person attendance is voluntary, and those not attending may view the ceremonies live on the Tiger Network.
There are 226 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music candidates, 267 Bachelor of Science candidates, and 47 graduate students eligible for this year’s commencement ceremonies. Madison Semro ‘21 is one of those students who is looking forward to making that walk across the stage.
“Traditionally, commencement is a celebration with family and friends over all that you've accomplished throughout your college years, and it wouldn't have been the same to ‘walk’ virtually and isolated from one another,” Semro says.
Heather Brunner ’90, CEO and Chairwoman of Austin-based tech platform WP Engine, will speak at the undergraduate ceremonies. Student Government Association President Jaelen Harris ’21 will also address his fellow candidates.
Trinity’s retiring vice president for Academic Affairs, Deneese Jones, Ph.D., will speak to those receiving their graduate degrees. “Dr. Dee” admits this one will be unique.
“After many years of these emotionally charged moments, I suspect this one will likely feel similarly but in a more intense manner, as I will be reflecting on my personal transition and how it blends with the transitions of the graduates,” Jones says.
Without question, Commencement 2021 at Trinity will be like no other. But then again, the Class of 2021 is like no other.
“I'm excited to get to walk with my friends, even on a hot Texas football field, and say goodbye to my time as a student at Trinity in the way I always saw myself graduating,” says Semro. “And the fact that it almost didn't happen makes it that much sweeter.”