Skip Navigation

Commencement 2021

March 19, 2021

To Stony Brook University students, faculty, and staff,

I am so pleased to inform you that Stony Brook University is planning an in-person Commencement ceremony this May. I want to thank those of you who participated in our survey, as we considered all our options for Commencement 2021 and how to safely celebrate this joyous occasion. We will have to remain adaptable and flexible with our plans, as well as diligent about all current health and safety protocols. In keeping with current New York State health and safety guidelines on COVID-19, our Commencement will have to be adjusted in several ways. These changes are summarized as follows:  

  • There will be 10 individual ceremonies taking place on Wednesday, May 19, through Friday, May 21. The ceremonies will be hosted by the individual schools and colleges.

  • Ceremonies will be contingent upon New York State directives at the time of Commencement and are therefore subject to change.

  • All ceremonies will be held outdoors at LaValle Stadium and will be held rain or shine.

  • All eligible candidates must register to attend the ceremony. You will be required to comply with university COVID-19 testing requirements prior to entering the stadium. These testing requirements will be forwarded upon registration.

  • Due to New York State mandates regarding venue capacities, no guest tickets will be issued at this time. We know how important it is to have friends and family celebrate with you, and we will be watching New York State capacity guidelines to see if this can change.

  • Guests may view all ceremonies via livestream, and all ceremonies will be recorded.    

You have been accountable, diligent, and proactive about your health this year; we trust in your ability to respect and comply with the testing requirements.  

I know that it will be a disappointment not to be able to invite guests — family, friends, and mentors who have helped and supported you through your education. In the survey, you indicated a strong desire for an in-person ceremony, even if guests had to be limited to virtual participation through the livestream. We will endeavor to create a celebration in person that allows our entire community to share in these accomplishments virtually.  

It’s not going to be a fully “normal” Commencement, but I hope we can all appreciate how far we have come in one year. More information, including the schedule for each ceremony, is now available on the Commencement website. Please monitor this site for updates and feel free to send any questions to  

As we continue to plan this ceremony — in an especially powerful and hopeful Commencement season all over the world — I would like to thank you for your continued support, hard work, and strength this year.  



mcinnis signature

Maurie McInnis