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Northeast to hold six commencement ceremonies in May

Northeast to hold six commencement ceremonies in May

NORFOLK, Neb – After the COVID-19 pandemic forced Northeast Community College to hold its 2020 commencement ceremony online and on broadcast television, the 2021 occasion will be held in-person. However, rather than conducting only one event, the College will hold multiple ceremonies over a two-day period in late May.

In all, six commencement ceremonies will be held – three on Fri., May 21, and three on Sat., May 22, in the Cox Activities Center gymnasium on Northeast’s Norfolk campus. Attendance will be limited to allow six feet of social distancing between graduates and guests.

“Our priority is the student experience,” said Dr. Leah Barrett, college president. “Commencement is a day when students want to see their instructors in their academic regalia of a gown, mortar board and tassel. They want to hear Pomp and Circumstance and they want to walk across the stage to be presented their diploma. I want to thank our College staff for their creativity and thoughtfulness as we look at providing our graduates with a well-deserved meaningful experience.”

Commencement ceremonies will be held each day at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m. Graduates have been informed as to the date and time of their respective ceremonies. Receptions will follow each event.

Amanda Nipp, vice president of student services, said approximately half of the 900 graduates have chosen to participate in commencement this year.

“Multiple ceremonies will allow approximately 75 graduates at each event. In addition, each student will be allowed up to four guests who will view the ceremonies in the Cox Activities Center gym,” Nipp said. “We are working diligently to ensure these are very special, momentous ceremonies for each of our graduates and their guests during this unprecedented time.”

Nipp said Northeast faculty members agreed that the priority for attendance are family members and friends of the graduates.

“Faculty will be included in the processional and recessional through the gym and be seated in the adjacent theater to view the livestream of the ceremonies. They will also attend the receptions.”

All guests must have a ticket to be admitted to commencement ceremonies and all attendees must wear a face mask. Guests will be seated in pods that will include immediate family members and friends of each graduate. Each pod will be spaced six feet apart from individuals in other pods who are not in their respective group.

In addition, ceremonies will be streamed live by the Northeast Media Arts programs of broadcasting and audio recording technology at All events will be available on demand following the ceremonies.

“Our students have worked so hard to get to this day, and I know all of us at Northeast want to give them the kind of commencement that they deserve,” Nipp said.

For more information on 2021 Northeast Community College commencement ceremonies, visit




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The Cox Activities Center gymnasium sits empty just prior to the start of Northeast Community College’s 46th annual Commencement Ceremony in May 2019. While COVID-19 moved last year’s ceremony to a virtual event, Northeast will hold six in-person commencement ceremonies this year that will take place over a two-day period on Fri., May 21, and Sat., May 22.