Expect Challenge. Achieve Distinction.

With unprecedented challenges before us, we have never been more proud of you, our Norwich graduates. The world needs your strength, talent, grit, and compassion now more than ever. Take with you the leadership and readiness skills you have honed at Norwich — semper paratus — always be ready. You are well prepared to serve. We are proud.

Congratulations, Norwich Class of 2021!


RELIVE THE MOMENT: 2021 Commencement and Commissioning archives

Location by Program Finder

For more information, details, and alternate plans for inclement weather, please review our FAQs:

FAQs on Ceremonies FAQs on Arrival Logistics FAQs on Departure Protocols

 

Q: Will there be a 2021 Commencement Rehearsal?

Yes. All graduates are required to attend an in-person rehearsal on Friday, April 30. Students graduating on Saturday, May 1 were emailed information on Thursday, April 22 about where they should report Friday and when to arrive. Students are not expected to wear their commencement attire during the rehearsal. Everyone will be required to wear a mask and maintain physical distance guidelines at all times. Click here for rehearsal details: Outline for Student Rehearsal.

If you are currently studying remotely or unable to attend, please complete this form no later than Wednesday, April 28, 2021, so that a representative from the Provost’s Office can follow up with you directly with the information you need and answer any questions you may have about our expectations of you.

Q: When are the Commencement ceremonies?

A: 2021 Commencement ceremonies will be conducted simultaneously at 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, May 1 as follows:

9 a.m., Shapiro Fieldhouse: Graduates of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the College of Liberal Arts, and graduates of the School of Architecture+Art and School of Business in the College of Professional Schools. Livestream

9 a.m., Kreitzberg Arena: Graduates of the College of Science and Mathematics academic programs. Livestream

Noon, Shapiro Fieldhouse: Graduates of the School of Cybersecurity, Data Science and Computing, the David E. Crawford School of Engineering, and the School of Nursing in the College of Professional Schools. Livestream

Noon, Kreitzberg Arena: Graduates of the College of Liberal Arts, all academic programs except for those in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Livestream

Q: When are the Joint Commissioning ceremonies?

A: 3 p.m., Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium, Joint Commissioning. (The ceremony will move to Shapiro Fieldhouse given inclement weather). Livestream

At 4:15 p.m., Service Commissioning ceremonies will run as follows:

  • The U.S. Army, at Sabine Field, or Shapiro Fieldhouse in inclement weather.  Livestream
  • The U.S. Air Force on Jackman Hall’s steps, or in Mack Hall Auditorium in inclement weather.  Livestream
  • The U.S. Naval Program, on the Wise Campus Center Green, or in Plumley Armory in inclement weather. Livestream

Q: How will graduates learn their ceremony locations?

A: Each graduate will receive a personalized letter from their respective college’s deans with the Commencement Ceremony time and locations for their major.

Q: How long will the ceremonies last?

A: Commencement ceremonies are expected last 90 minutes each; Joint Commissioning will also last about 90 minutes.

Q: Will you allow guests?

A: All guests must be ticketed. Graduating seniors planning to walk across the stage will receive an email that outlines the procedure for securing tickets for up to two guests to their Commencement Ceremony. (The Joint and Service Commissioning ceremonies are also ticketed events.)

Please note: Graduates may secure only two guest tickets and are strongly encouraged to secure them promptly. Tickets are non-transferable but can be changed up to 24 hours before the event. The ticketing reservation process lets Norwich University comply with Vermont contact tracing requirements. Tickets may be printed and/or scanned with a smartphone for entry to Shapiro Fieldhouse or Kreitzberg Arena and the areas designated for livestream viewing.

Commissionees may invite up to four fully vaccinated guests to attend the in-person events on campus — two fully vaccinated guests to attend the Commencement ceremony and two additional fully vaccinated guests to administer the commissioning oath and receive the first salute at the commissioning ceremonies. Guests must have a ticket to attend the events and will be permitted to enter only the location annotated on their ticket(s).

Q: Must guests follow COVID-19 protocols?

A: Yes. All guests must agree to wear masks and physically distance throughout their time on Norwich’s campus. Large gatherings will be restricted; guests and visitors to campus will be permitted only in Shapiro Fieldhouse and Kreitzberg Arena to attend Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies.

Q: When will venue doors open?

A: Doors for Commencement open an hour before the start of each ceremony. Doors for Joint Commissioning open 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony.

Q: I'm graduating. What should I wear?

A: Graduates should wear academic regalia if they’re civilians or Dress Blues, or the dress uniform of their service if they are an active-duty service member, reservist, or National Guard. If you are unsure which uniform to wear, verify with your ROTC unit’s senior ranking member.

Q: I’m a student who isn’t graduating this year. May I attend Commencement and Joint Commissioning?

A: Yes. Norwich University residential students residing on campus for the spring semester may attend Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies as a ticketed guest even if they are not fully vaccinated. They must have had negative COVID-19 test within the past three days and must agree to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols including mask wearing and physical distancing.

Q: I graduated in December 2020. May I attend the ceremonies?

A: Yes. December 2020 graduates should have confirmed their intent to participate in the Commencement ceremony and will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test collected within three days of arrival. Test results should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: Will there be livestreams?

A: Yes. Norwich University will livestreaming the four Commencement ceremonies for nonvaccinated guests.

Q: Do infants or children require tickets for commencement?

A: Yes. 

Q: Where will you have Americans with Disabilities Act seating?

A: Ticket-holding guests using wheelchairs will be accommodated. For ease of access, it is recommended that students reserve an aisle seat for guests using wheelchairs.

Q: Will there be refreshments and restrooms?

A: No. The Wise Campus Center will be closed and there will be no food and beverage services offered on campus on Saturday, May 1 or Sunday, May 2. The Northfield and central Vermont communities nearby offer many dining options.

Q: Who will speak at the ceremonies?

A: U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is our Commissioning speaker; Norwich alumnus and U.S. Air Force Reserve Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe ’86, adjutant general, Massachusetts National Guard, is our Joint Commissioning guest speaker.

Q: Will there be pictures?

A: Yes. University-contracted photographers will take graduates’ pictures as the graduates receive their diploma tubes and exit the stage. Graduates will receive communications on how to access those photographs after the ceremonies. To keep with COVID-19 safety protocols, though, we ask that guests not leave their seats to take pictures during the ceremony.

Q: Will there be diplomas in the tubes?

A: No. Graduates’ diplomas will be mailed out later in the summer.

For our 2021 graduates, a look back...

In the face of a pandemic, The Hill and all its roads to and from are forever graced by your grit, strength and determination.

Thank you, Norwich Class of 2021. We are proud.

Norwich Together! Norwich Forever!

Smile for the camera

Selfies taken at commencement

Mark Collier, our stealth Norwich photographer, will be capturing those special candid moments throughout the day. Come back here after May 4th to enjoy the galleries and download your favorites. These images are free for personal use and sharing with friends and loved ones.

Available May 4, 2021:

Commencement
2021 Photo Gallery

Commissioning
2021 Photo Gallery

These images are free for personal use and sharing with friends and loved ones. Be sure to tag #NorwichGrad21 to discover even more candid shots from the day!

Formal Portraits

formal portraits sample

For the more formal approach, we offer traditional portraits (smiles optional).

Available May 11, 2021:

Commencement and Commissioning
2021 Formal Portraits

Formal portraits of the Norwich Class of 2021 graduates will be available for review and purchase by May 11.

Your time at Norwich has only just begun...

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The Norwich Record—alumni magazine. Find yourself in these and future pages of the Norwich Record.

Norwich Record | Spring 2021 | Alumni Magazine

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