FORT SMITH -- The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith plans to have in-person commencement spread across four days in May.
Ceremonies to honor 2020 graduates who were unable to participate in a traditional in-person ceremony because of the pandemic are planned for 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. May 1, according to a news release. The final times and number of ceremonies could change depending on how many graduates register to attend.
The university's five colleges each will have commencement exercises for spring and summer graduates:
• May 7: College of Health Science, 7 p.m.
• May 8: College of Applied Science and Technology, 10 a.m.; College of Business, 2 p.m.; College of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, 6 p.m.
• May 9: College of Communication, Languages, Arts and Social Sciences, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
All ceremonies will follow Arkansas Department of Health protocols, according to the release. All attendees will be required to wear masks and maintain social distance, as well as have their temperatures taken when they enter.
In addition, each ceremony will last no longer than one hour and be live-streamed on the UAFS YouTube channel. The commencement program booklet will be available to view digitally as opposed to print.
Each ceremony will be limited to 140 graduates, who will check in 30 minutes before the start time and proceed to their seats on the arena floor, forgoing the traditional processional, the release states.
Each graduate will be issued a maximum of four guest tickets. Guest seating will be grouped in four-seat sections, with each group 6 feet from others. Children under the age of 2 will be allowed without a ticket if they are not using their own seats.
Anyone with a positive covid-19 test or covid-19 symptoms at the time of the ceremony, or who has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for covid-19 shouldn't attend, according to the release.
Participating graduates are required to register by April 1.