Concordia University Chicago Plans Additional In-Person Ceremony for 2020 and 2021 Graduates This Fall


Sam Scheltens

Although this Saturday’s commencement at Concordia University Chicago will be virtual,  the university may hold an additional in-person commencement ceremony for 2020 and 2021 graduates in the fall.

“We understand how important the act of crossing the stage is to students who complete their degrees and I want our students to know that we’ve heard their feedback about an in-person ceremony,” university events manager and commencement co-chair La Toya Keys said in an e-mail. “I’m glad to share that the University is finalizing details for an in-person ceremony, to take place in early fall, which will provide this opportunity to the Class of 2020 (May and Dec.) and this semester’s Spring Class of 2021.” 

It is not yet clear exactly when the fall ceremony will be held or how recent graduates will be able to sign up to participate.

“Coordinating such a large event, whether in-person or in a virtual environment takes a significant amount of time and resources,” said Keys. “However, it’s all worth it as commencement is the ultimate recognition and celebration of all we do here at the University.” 

CUC’s campus is already abuzz with graduation-related festivities and celebrations, many of which have not happened in over a year. 

One annual event that returned in 2021 is the Marty Party, which was held on April 30. This year’s outdoor celebration included a live karaoke band, churros, grilled food, and inflatable obstacle courses. 

The Marty Party is the combined effort of several on-campus groups teaming up to put on the event. “Working with OSLI, SAAC, LSU, BSU, and Spiritual Life all together has allowed us to work with our different budgets and resources to throw a great end of the year party for all the students here on campus,” said Abby Schult, sophomore and coordinator for the Marty Party. 

While the groups made an effort to keep the Marty Party festivities as close to normal as possible, they had to make some accommodations due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

“One thing that has changed is that we definitely have to be more conscious of is COVID-19 related circumstances, such as sanitizing and crowd sizes, but because it is an outdoor event, it is much easier to handle,” said Schult. 

While commencement will still be held virtually for Spring 2021 graduates, the Service of Praise and Consecration is being hosted on-campus in the Chapel of Our Lord at 5:00 p.m. on May 7. 

“Those completing our Church-professional programs will be receiving their certificates, but all our graduating students will be recognized as we give thanks to God for this important milestone in your lives,” said Deaconess Betsy Karkan. “These words of encouragement and commitment will acknowledge that all good and godly vocations— both in the church and the world—come from our Lord and are lived in response to His love.” 

For those interested in attending the Service of Praise and Consecration, register for seating here. The service will also be livestreamed on the University’s website and their Vimeo page. 

If you want to watch the commencement ceremonies, you can find the livestreams under the “Commencement” tab on the University’s website. Undergraduate commencement will be held at 2:00 p.m. on May 8, with graduate commencement held at 4:00 p.m. on the same day.