Liberty University has kicked off graduation week.  Williams Stadium and the Academic Lawn will host a total of 25 in-person degree presentation ceremonies starting Tuesday morning and running through Saturday. The ceremonies are also being broadcast online for graduates who participate virtually. The week will be capped by a virtual Commencement ceremony Saturday evening featuring Tim Tebow as the keynote speaker.    Over 5,600 residential and online graduates from the Classes of 2021 and 2020 are expected to celebrate on campus.

Here is the entire news release from Liberty:

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY TO CELEBRATE GRADUATES WITH 25 DEGREE CEREMONIES STARTING TUESDAY

The stages are being set at Williams Stadium and the Academic Lawn for the two venues to host a total of 25 in-person degree presentation ceremonies in Liberty University’s 48th Commencement exercises, starting Tuesday and running through Saturday. The ceremonies are also being broadcast online for graduates who have chosen to participate virtually. The week will be capped by a virtual Commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. EST Saturday featuring Tim Tebow as the keynote speaker.

Over 5,600 residential and online graduates from the Classes of 2021 and 2020 are expected to celebrate on campus. Tickets are required for all events, as Liberty is complying with the capacity and space measures that have been put in place by the Governor of Virginia. The lawn is restricted to 1,852 people while Williams Stadium is allowed up to 5,000. Liberty has planned most of the events within a four-hour window to allow for ample preparation time and for cleaning and sanitizing afterward. Families are being allowed to remain together in pod-style seating. In all, close to 37,000 guest tickets have been ordered for the week.

Ceremonies will kick off in Williams Stadium on Tuesday at 10 a.m. This will be the first year the Academic Lawn will host a degree presentation ceremony; the first event there is scheduled for Wednesday evening. (See a full schedule of ceremonies on the Commencement website).

Liberty is celebrating 28,351 residential and online students from the Class of 2021 as well as welcoming back students from the Class of 2020. After the disappointment of postponing and eventually canceling Liberty’s 47th Commencement, this year’s exercises will provide a sense of closure in honoring those graduates for their academic achievements.

“The entire Liberty University team was disappointed when we were not able to recognize our graduates in-person in 2020,” said Lori Baker, Liberty’s senior associate registrar for student services and records who is in her 14th year serving as program manager for Commencement. “We are so excited to be able to have our graduates here on campus this week to celebrate all of their great accomplishments. Things may look a little different from what they have in the past, but we are doing our best to pull together a great event for them on campus. We are also excited to still be able to continue with our plans to recognize our graduates virtually who are not able to attend in person this year.”

Baker said more than 10,000 graduates have registered to participate in their degree ceremonies virtually, with the chance for individual recognition. Although Liberty has broadcast its main ceremony online for many years, “the virtual degree ceremonies have been a new element for us this year,” she said. “It has been great to see how the entire team from Broadcast, IT, Marketing, and our Commencement team have come together to work though the creation of these ceremonies to ensure that our graduates participating in the virtual Commencement are recognized for their hard work.”

Graduates can watch the ceremonies live or at a later time of their choosing, as the events will remain posted online.

In keeping with a longstanding Liberty tradition, the university will honor its military graduates in a virtual Military Graduate Recognition Ceremony, streamed live on the Commencement website and the Office of Military AffairsFacebook page at 6 p.m. EST Monday. The ceremony will honor service members, veterans, and military spouses who have completed their degree in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. There are a total of 5,494 students with military connections in the Class of 2021, including 1,835 in active duty, as well as 2,444 military spouses. On Friday, Liberty’s Air Force and Army ROTC programs will hold commissioning ceremonies in the Thomas Road Baptist Church Worship Center, starting at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

While Liberty’s Commencement planning team works year-round on the front lines and behind the scenes to assure that the festivities run smoothly each year, Baker said she is proud of the cooperation she’s seen across multiple departments to meet the unique challenges presented this year.

“The entire Liberty University community has been amazing to work with this spring,” she said. “They have been quick to react to the different needs and challenges that we have had to make Commencement happen with our changing requirements, on a much shorter timeline. Final details are coming together for a great week, and we are excited to celebrate the graduating Classes of 2020 and 2021.”

CLASS OF 2021 BY THE NUMBERS

Total Liberty University Graduates for 2021 – 28,351 

 Top states represented by graduates

Top countries represented by graduates

 Top majors overall


Average age:
34

Male/female ratio:

Family pairs

Honors