COVID-19 Commencement Protocol
Columbia, SC 29204
Health and Safety Protocol
Rationale: Our current planning recognizes generally improving public health conditions and increasing access to vaccines. In light of this, public health officials caution continued vigilance and concern over highly infectious variants of the virus. Further, we continue to be informed and comply with guidelines put forth by the City of Columbia, the State of South Carolina and public health agencies, SC DHEC, and the CDC. The data, trends, and guidelines from these entities coupled with feedback and concerns from graduates, faculty and staff serves as guidance for our current thinking and planning regarding commencement activities for the Class of 2022.
Guidelines to consider in South Carolina:
- Vaccination eligibility adjusted to include 5 year-olds and older citizens (increased availability).
- City of Columbia and State of Carolina continue to maintain mask/face coverings, social distancing, washing hands and discouraging large, mass gatherings (continued vigilance).
Programming recommendation/ Commencement:
- Benedict College will host in-person Commencement activities for graduates on Friday, May 6, 2022 at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.
- Time: 7:00 p.m.
Other Department Related Commencement Activities:
- Other Commencement-related activities, such as departmental recognitions, honor society events, etc., will be held virtually.
How to attend Commencement 2021
Guest Attendance: Based upon the public-health considerations outlined above, graduates will be allowed two (2) in-person guests to attend Commencement. Remote viewing/streaming will be available online for those who cannot attend.
All graduates and their guests will be required to check-in at the Safety/Wellness station where temperature checks will be administered and PPE will be available, if needed.
To maintain social distancing and to meet capacity limits, guests will be seated alphabetically by last name of the graduate they are supporting. Both sides of the stadium will be used. Follow directional signage at the stadium for the location of guests seating. This measure will help to seat guests in “pods” that are socially distanced from other attendees.
All participants — graduates, guests, and staff — will be required to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing during the events. Please note, the ceremony will be live-streamed for viewing by those unable to attend in person.