Ashland University's Spring 2021 Commencement

Ashland University's Spring 2021 Commencement, which includes the classes of Spring 2020 and Winter 2020, will be held May 8, 2021 at the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex’s Miller Stadium off Broad Street. The Undergraduate ceremony will begin at 10 AM and the Graduate Ceremony will begin at 2 PM. The events will be held at the outdoor stadium rain or shine because of COVID-19 restrictions. Please be aware that due to state and local COVID-19 requirements, masks and social distancing will be required. The event will be streamed live on the Ashland University homepage -- www.ashland.edu -- so families can watch the event live from anywhere.

Spring 2021 Undergraduate Commencement live-stream

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Spring 2021 Graduate Commencement live-stream

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Commencement FAQs

Where and when will commencement be held?

Commencement will be held Saturday, May 8, in the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex's Miller Stadium. There will be a ceremony for undergraduates from 2020 and Spring 2021 at 10 a.m. and a ceremony for graduate students from 2020 and Spring 2021 at 2 p.m.


Is there a rain date/location?

No. These events will be held rain or shine, as AU has no indoor location that can accommodate the state’s social distancing/ mass gathering protocols. Weather-related announcements will be provided to local media and posted on the AU website and social media by 7 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony and by noon for the graduate ceremony. Umbrellas will be permitted at the ceremony.

Who may attend?

Those who graduated in the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2020 have been invited to attend and participate along with the Spring 2021 classes. Each graduate can claim two tickets to the event. If you are a graduate and have not been previously contacted about the event, please email regis@ashland.edu 


How do I get my tickets?

Tickets are available for in-person pick-up at the Registrar’s Office located on the second floor of Founders Hall. Those who cannot come to campus to pick up tickets should email regis@ashland.edu by April 23 to arrange for tickets to be mailed. Tickets also can be picked up at the “will call” ticket booths at the entrance to the stadium beginning 90 minutes prior to the event.


What should I expect the day of the event?

Undergraduates should plan to arrive on the soccer field located on the hill just south of the stadium at 9 a.m. and graduate students at 1 p.m. Students will be lined up there and will process down to the playing field level and will be seated by college/degree. Choral and instrumental music will be pre-recorded by the AU Department of Music and will be played at the event.

Each graduate will be recognized by name and will cross the portico area of the Troop Center, where the platform committee will be seated. Face masks must be worn at all times. There will be no handshaking during the conferring of degrees.

After crossing the portico, graduates will proceed to tented areas for photos and can then return to their seats.


What are the areas for seating in the Stadium?

1) Seating for Graduates – Undergraduates should plan to arrive at the soccer field south of the stadium at 9 a.m.; graduate students at 1 p.m. Students will process to the stadium and will be seated on the field at the stadium. 

2) Wheelchairs and handicapped seating for guests – The handicapped benches in front of stands will be reserved for guests needing handicapped seating.

3) Seating for Parents and Visitors – All parents and visitors will be seated in the home and visitor stands inside the stadium. While family members can sit side by side, guests are asked to follow social distance guidelines in the stands.

4) Seating for Faculty – Faculty should arrive at the soccer field south of the stadium by 9:15 a.m. (by 1:15 p.m. for the graduate ceremony) and will line up at that location and lead the student procession down to the stadium. The faculty will process down to the stadium field and will be seated in a faculty seating section on the field. 

5) Seating for VIPs -- There will be a roped off VIP area in the home stands.


What COVID-19 precautions are being taken to make this a safe event?

Face masks will be required for everyone and the seating will be arranged to provide for social distancing. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the area and the stadium will be cleaned between ceremonies.


Will any extra tickets be available the day of the event?

Unfortunately, no. Ashland University has committed to providing its first face-to-face commencement since the COVID-19 pandemic. Please understand we must adhere to COVID-19 protocols, not only for your safety, but also due to state mandates.


Will the event be live-streamed and where?

The event will be live-streamed and can be viewed from anywhere via online streaming. There will, however, be NO common viewing stations on campus as in previous years, due to the social distancing guidelines.


Will there be a photography service?

EagleEye Photography (www.ashland.edu/eagleeyephoto) will take photos of each graduate after they cross the stage. Face masks can be removed briefly for the photo. Each graduate will be contacted through their university email within 4-6 weeks with information regarding the viewing and purchase of photos. If you no longer have a university email, please provide an alternate email to the Registrar’s Office ASAP at regis@ashland.edu.

Will there be a Baccalaureate service?

Yes. The Baccalaureate Service of Worship will begin at 8 a.m. in Upper Convo, with the Rev. Dr. Sue Dickson as the keynote speaker. Seating for this event is limited to the first 100 graduates to register for themselves and up to 2 guests. Tickets will be required for entry. Registration can be completed at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/au-baccalaureate-2021-tickets-148659820525


Will there be a rose sale?

The Ashland University Honors Program will offer roses at Commencement. They are sold in advance, with the pre-ordered items available for pickup when graduates and their families arrive at the ceremony. For more information, contact the Honors Department at 419-289-5260 or go to the Rose Sales page.

Rose orders will be available for pickup from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. as you arrive at the gate to the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex's Miller Stadium.

A variety of colors will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Quantities are limited and colors cannot be reserved. Earlier pick up results in better selection! Rose orders MUST BE picked up by the start of Commencement. Orders not picked up by this time will be donated to a local charity. We regret that refunds cannot be made for orders not picked up.

Roses can be purchased online through PayPal.


Will food be available?

Dining Services will have concessions available from 9:00 to the end of the graduate ceremony.  Beverages, snacks and sandwiches will be available to purchase.  Cash and credit card accepted.


What other services will be offered that day?

The Ashland University Campus Store will be open from 8 a.m. until 30 minutes after the graduate ceremony. The store also will  be open at the Purple and Gold Zone Stadium Store from 9 a.m. until the end of the graduate ceremony.

AU Dining Services will have concessions available at the Stadium from 9 a.m. until the end of the graduate ceremony.  Beverages, snacks and sandwiches will be available to purchase.  Cash and credit cards accepted.



View Past Ceremonies

Spring 2019 Commencement

Dr. Rick Warren, Ashland University Spring 2019 commencement speaker

Speaker - Dr. Rick Warren
View Spring '19 Commencement

Winter 2018 Commencement

Dr. Steve Fuller

Speaker - Dr. Steve Fuller
View Winter '18 Commencement

Spring 2018 Commencement

Dr. Tracy Ringo, Ashland University's Spring 2018 commencement speaker

Speaker - Dr. Tracy Ringo
View Spring '18 Commencement

Winter 2017 Commencement

Dr. Steven Benner, Ashland University's Winter 2017 Commencement speaker

Speaker - Dr. Steven Benner
View Winter '17 Commencement

Spring 2017 Commencement

Senator Rob Portman, Ashland University's Spring 2017 Commencement Speaker

Speaker - Sen. Rob Portman
View Spring '17 Commencement

Winter 2016 Commencement

Fred Broad, Ashland University's Winter 2016 Commencement Speaker

Speaker - Fred Broad
View Winter '16 Commencement

Spring 2016 Commencement

Hugh Hewitt, Ashland University Commencement Speaker, Spring 2016

Speaker - Hugh Hewitt
View Spring '16 Commencement

Winter 2015 Commencement

Mark Kvamme, Winter 2015 Commencement Speaker

Speaker - Mark Kvamme
View Winter '15 Commencement

Spring 2015 Commencement

Sue Ramsey, Former Ashland University Women's Basketball Coach, Spring 2015 Commencement Speaker

Speaker - Sue Ramsey
View Spring '15 Commencement

Spring 2014 Commencement

William G. Batchhelder

Speaker - William G. Batchelder
View Spring '14 Commencement

Winter 2013 Commencement

Winter 2013 Commencement speaker David P. Blom

Speaker - David P. Blom
View Winter '13 Commencement

Spring 2013 Commencement

donald jakeway

Speaker - Donald Jakeway
View Spring '13 Commencement

Winter 2012 Commencement

Speaker - Dr. Donald Rinehart

Speaker - Dr. Donald Rinehart
View Winter '12 Commencement

Spring 2012 Commencement

Speaker - Arie Lipsky

Speaker - Arie Lipsky
View Spring '12 Commencement

Winter 2011 Commencement

Speaker - Jerry Ruyan

Speaker - Jerry Ruyan
View Winter '11 Commencement

Spring 2011 Commencement

Speaker - Sherrod Brown

Speaker - Sherrod Brown
View Spring '11 Commencement