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March 26, 2021

Dear Students,

On March 11, Provost Short announced that the University of Houston will host in-person commencement ceremonies for May 2021 graduates. We would like to share important updates about our College’s participation in these ceremonies.

While we completely understand most of you would have preferred to have a ceremony in our building, this option is not viable because of the ongoing safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the College of Architecture and Design will recognize its May graduates at TDECU stadium as a part of the University of Houston’s in-person spring commencements on Saturday, May 15, at 10:00 am, in a combined ceremony with the Cullen College of Engineering. In this safer outdoor environment, students will be able to celebrate their graduation by walking across the stage with family, friends, and peers in attendance.

This decision was not made easily or lightly. It comes after careful deliberation as to whether the College could ensure your safety and well-being in our building. We cannot meet University health protocols for such a large event in our atrium that would ultimately put you, your family members, and our staff at risk. Given these circumstances, we determined an in-person ceremony in our building is untenable.

We understand this news is disappointing and saddening. We share these sentiments with you. Yet, despite the fact we are unable to celebrate your academic achievements in our traditional manner, the College assures you that it will uniquely celebrate and recognize your success in other ways.

Please visit the College website and the University commencement webpage for additional information about graduation activities and planning in the coming days. As more information becomes available, we will be sure to share these details with you there.

The change in venue and the departure from past practices do not diminish the importance of this personal and academic milestone, nor does it minimize the tremendous effort, commitment, and many sacrifices you and your families made to reach this point in your education. We are so proud of you! You should let nothing minimize your achievement. You completed your education despite the extraordinary challenges you confronted during these unprecedented times. We commend you for this perseverance, and we look forward to celebrating with you in May.

With all best wishes,

Patricia Belton Oliver, FAIA, ACSA Distinguished Professor

College of Architecture and Design + College of Engineering Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, May 15, 2021
TDECU Stadium | 10:00 am

Please continue to check the university commencement website, for the most current information.