UMKC Graduates Will Cross the Stage During In-Person Commencement at Kauffman Stadium

Ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 graduates will be May 15 and 16
Kauffman Stadium

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is pleased to announce that in-person ceremonies honoring its 2020 and 2021 graduates will be hosted on Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, at Kauffman Stadium. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and safety restrictions in place during 2020, UMKC found creative ways to safely celebrate its graduates: packets of surprise mementos, lighting up Kansas City landmarks Roo blue and gold at night and virtual ceremonies with distinguished guests. In December, Kansas City native and actor Don Cheadle was the speaker.

Nonetheless, students communicated their desire to return to in-person commencement as soon as reasonably possible. UMKC leaders worked with community leaders to find a way to make this happen.

“During the pandemic, we celebrated the milestone of graduating from our university with all of the pomp and circumstance we could safely create,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We are happy that now we can return to an in-person event that is more like the traditional ceremony we’ve come to expect – and at the home of our beloved Kansas City Royals. We are grateful that the organization could accommodate our 2020 and 2021 graduates.”

Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman said he is delighted to help UMKC graduates celebrate commencement together, at the K.

"The last twelve months have been difficult on everyone, including the education community,”  said John Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Royals. “Students, teachers and administrators throughout our country have worked tirelessly during these uncertain times, so providing this opportunity for UMKC graduates to be celebrated in-person, with their families, is an honor for our organization."

UMKC will host four ceremonies in Kauffman Stadium, three dedicated to the class of 2021 and one dedicated to graduates from 2020 who return for the ceremony. Graduates will be able to cross the stage, with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Each graduate will be limited to two guests who can attend the ceremony, so UMKC can observe the city and the stadium’s social distancing guidelines for keeping the public safe during a pandemic. The event also will be livestreamed.

UMKC is working diligently with groups across campus to plan this in-person Commencement celebration, including External Relations, Student Affairs and the Student Government Association.

Chancellor Agrawal expressed gratitude to the community for helping to make students’ commencement wishes come true.

“These in-person ceremonies would not be possible without the many community partners who stepped up with possible solutions,” Agrawal said. “The home of the Royals is a wonderful venue and we look forward to May and the ability to celebrate together with our students and their families.”

Published: Mar 19, 2021

Top Stories