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EFSC Plans In-Person Commencement for Spring 2021 Graduates

April 1, 2021 - Eastern Florida State College will hold in-person graduation ceremonies for Spring Commencement on May 13 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Three ceremonies are planned at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne Campus. Graduates can each have two guests seated inside the King Center, with tickets required.

Masks and social distancing requirements will be in place for everyone.

“We’re thrilled about returning to our traditional commencement. Graduation is a significant milestone in the lives of our students and this will allow them to celebrate their accomplishments in a special way,” said EFSC President Dr. Jim Richey.

“We’ve considered the matter carefully and believe that our COVID protocols will keep everyone safe, including disinfecting the King Center between each ceremony. Safety remains our top priority.”

More than 1,600 students are eligible to graduate for the Spring Term and about 700 are expected to participate in the three ceremonies, which also will be televised live on WEFS-TV and streamed live on the college’s @easternflorida YouTube channel with a link also posted on the college’s website. 

Here are details on how graduation will work.

On April 15, eligible graduates who RSVPd to take part in commencement when they applied to graduate will receive an email from the EFSC Registrar's Office with unique, password-protected access to reserve tickets through the King Center's online ticketing system.

Tickets will be delivered electronically, with guest tickets provided as a group of two seats, at socially distanced spacing in the King Center's Grand Tier balcony.

Pre-registered Graduates will not need tickets to attend their ceremony. Tickets are for their guests only.

When logging in for tickets, each graduate will also choose their ceremony time, with the capacity at each commencement limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Access for students emailed on April 15 is exclusive through April 29. On May 3, any unclaimed seats for eligible graduates will open for all students who have applied to graduate, with an email sent to those still eligible.

The Registrar's Office email also will include pre-ceremony check-in details for May 13, along with how to access regalia students may have earned such as Honors graduate and Veteran's cords.

Because of ticketing requirements, walk-up requests on May 13 to participate in commencement cannot be accommodated. See more details on ticket access.

Caps and gowns are required for the services and are available at the Eastern Florida bookstores and through the regalia online ordering system. A standard shipping fee applies through April 9 and a rush shipping fee window opens April 12 for two weeks. Starting April 19, graduates can purchase caps and gowns at the EFSC Bookstores.

Only Dr. Richey and a few college leaders will be on stage to coordinate announcing the graduates as they walk across the stage.

Graduates will have a professional photo taken while they are on stage and a mask will not be required during that photo. The company GradImages will contact students directly after commencement with details on available photos and how to purchase them.

While family members and guests are limited inside the King Center, additional family and friends are welcome outside on the grounds to take photos and celebrate with graduates before and after each ceremony.

Masks or face coverings are not required outside of campus buildings unless social distancing recommendations of at least six feet of separation cannot be met with people outside of your family grouping.

Due to space limitations, the three ceremonies on May 13 are for eligible Spring Term 2021 graduates only. Plans are underway to offer commencement make-up opportunities at a later date for 2020 graduates who were limited to drive-through celebrations due to the pandemic. Those options will not be announced until COVID-required precautions have lessened.

For questions about commencement, email graduation@easternflorida.edu