As North Carolina Central University approaches the 137th Commencement exercises, we would like to reiterate that the university is not allowing guests—only graduates—to attend the ceremonies.
The rationale for this decision is as follows:
- While we experienced incidences of lower positivity rates this semester, COVID-19 rates continue to rise in Durham, the state of North Carolina, and on our campus. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to protect our campus, as well as the surrounding community, by limiting events requiring travel or large gatherings;
- Available space in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium is limited compared to other stadiums on campuses in the University of North Carolina System. This makes it more difficult to apply social distancing requirements and thus ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff;
- O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium is located in the center of campus, making it difficult to enforce appropriate distancing among those approaching, entering and exiting the facility, potentially putting everyone at higher risk; and
- Durham County Public Health officials recommended closing the ceremony to guests in the best interest of public health based on the size and placement of our stadium.
We look forward to celebrating graduates from Spring 2021 and the class of 2020 on May 7 and May 8!
NCCU Commencement Committee