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Elms College Plans In-person Commencement on May 15

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced plans to hold an in-person celebration for its 90th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the ceremony itself will be limited to graduates only and is not open to the public. Each graduate will be allowed to have one car containing up to four guests located in specific parking areas separate from where the commencement will be held. To keep foot traffic to a minimum, no other guests will be allowed on campus. Social-distancing guidelines will be enforced, and everyone must wear a mask.

The procession will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. in the Keating Quadrangle, and the program will begin at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be livestreamed on the college’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/elmscollege, for those watching from their cars or from home.

“We are delighted to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of the class of 2021 and hold the 90th commencement ceremony in person on our campus grounds,” said Harry Dumay, president of Elms College.

This year’s commencement speaker is Haitian-American novelist and short story writer Edwidge Danticat, who will deliver her address remotely from her home in Miami. She has been praised for her spare, emotionally evocative prose and for highlighting the stories of the Haitian diaspora. Her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, which deals with questions of racial, linguistic, and gender identity in interconnected ways, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

The 90th commencement ceremonies will also include the awarding of an honorary degree to Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi, a 2013 graduate of the Elms College MBA program.

Additional events are being planned during the week of May 10 to celebrate the class of 2021. These events will follow appropriate safety guidelines and are not open to the public. For more details on Elms College’s commencement activities, visit commencement.elms.edu.

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