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Fort Lewis College in-person commencement returns

Fort Lewis College in-person commencement returns

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Fort Lewis College from hosting any in-person commencement ceremonies in 2020. Now with the prevalence of vaccines and low local case counts, FLC will host its first in-person commencement in a year in multiple outdoor ceremonies. 

Spring 2021 Commencement has been separated into seven ceremonies taking place Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8 outside on Dennison Memorial Field. Fewer than 60 graduates will be celebrated and individually recognized at each ceremony.

“Being able to host graduation in person this year means we get to celebrate two significant and exciting accomplishments with our students—that they earned a degree from one of the best colleges in the nation and that they courageously persevered through a global pandemic,” said President Tom Stritikus. “Commencement represents so many important things to our students and their families and I can’t wait to congratulate them in person.”

The ceremonies are not open to the public or the media. Students participating in one of the seven ceremonies have been permitted two guest tickets at this time. More tickets may be allotted per student should La Plata County move up on the COVID-19 Dial and local public health officials permit more attendees for outdoor events.

For those not attending the ceremonies in person, a livestream of each ceremony will be available on Facebook at

  • Tickets are required and this rule will be strictly enforced.  
  • Masks will be required throughout the ceremony.
  • Food and drink will not be permitted during the ceremony.
  • Gathering before and after the ceremonies will be limited.

Addressing the graduates will be faculty from one of the departments represented at the ceremony. The ceremonies will include these majors as follows:

Friday, May 7, 2021 

Ceremony A: 12 p.m.

Programs: Exercise & Health Promotion, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Science, Exercise Specialist, Public Health, Sport Administration
Speaker: Sara Newman, assistant professor of Public Health

Ceremony B: 2:30 p.m.

Programs: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Pre-Health Certificate
Speaker: Shere Byrd, professor of Biology

Ceremony C: 5 p.m.

Communication Design, English, History, Journalism & Multimedia Studies, Marketing, Studio Art, Theatre, Writing
Speaker: Andy Gulliford, professor of History

Saturday, May 8, 2021 

Ceremony D: 9 a.m.

Programs: Accounting, Business Administration, Economics
Speaker: Wade Litt, assistant professor of Economics

Ceremony E: 11:30 a.m.

Programs: Master of Arts in Education, Teacher Leadership and Teacher Licensure, Adventure Education, Early Childhood Education, Educational Studies, Elementary Education, K –12 Education, Philosophy
Speaker: Beth Dorman, professor of Teacher Education

Ceremony F: 2 p.m.:

Programs: Criminology & Justice Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Sociology & Human Services 
Speaker: Brian Burke, professor of Psychology

Ceremony G: 4:30 p.m.:

Anthropology, Computer Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Mathematics, Native American & Indigenous Studies, Political Science, and virtual graduates.
Speaker: Veronika Furst, professor of Mathematics


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