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NORWICH UPDATES

Keeping our Norwich students and community informed and safe.

As we continue our spring semester planning, we are writing with some news about the Class of 2021 Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies, scheduled for Saturday, May 1. We do not have all of the details yet but wanted to provide you with as much information as we can so you may plan accordingly.

First, it is our intention to hold both Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies on the same day and in-person.  All graduating seniors studying on campus, are commuting, or are studying remotely are invited to participate. 

While we all continue to make progress pertaining to COVID, the scale of our commencement and commissioning celebrations remains very limited by Vermont guidelines for large gatherings. As a result, we will not be able to welcome families, friends, faculty, or staff who are not immediately part of a ceremony to join the celebration on campus. Unfortunately, this also includes students from previous graduating classes. As we have done in the past, we will stream our events live so that all may join in on the celebration virtually.

We had originally hoped to bring our Class of 2020 graduates back to campus to join the Class of 2021 for an in-person ceremony this coming spring. Unfortunately, the same conditions that prevent us from welcoming large numbers of attendees for the Class of 2021 also apply to welcoming back the Class of 2020. We remain committed to bringing together the Class of 2020 for a future in-person Commencement and have not forgotten how important that ceremony will be to them and to the entire Norwich family.

We know this news is yet another disappointment in a long list of pandemic-related losses, especially for families who have looked forward to this day for years. Like you, we have been looking forward to this milestone occasion too! The health and safety of our entire community is our highest priority, and we must abide by state and local guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic, which include greatly limiting gathering sizes and visitors on campus.

We are considering a number of possibilities for the in-person events to incorporate many of our Norwich traditions. The exact details for these ceremonies are still being developed, but you should plan for the possibility of a 9 a.m. start to Commencement. To ensure that all graduating seniors are honored in the manner they deserve, Norwich University will hold small, simultaneous ceremonies at scheduled times during the day.

The Joint Commissioning Ceremony is currently being planned to begin at 3 p.m.  It will be an outdoor event on Sabine field following all of the commencement ceremonies.  U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Smith, dean of the College of National Services, will be providing more information to candidates, in writing.

Finally, to all graduating students, it is vitally important that you read the following information that is relevant to your current status:

ON-CAMPUS RESIDENTIAL GRADUATES 

All students need to be checked out of the barracks and residence halls by 7 p.m. May 1. Students will be required to have all of their belongings out of their rooms at that time. On-campus storage will not be available.

OUT OF STATE COMMUTER AND REMOTE STUDENT GRADUATES

All graduates traveling from outside of Vermont must follow the state’s travel guidelines. Students will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test collected within 72-hours of arrival. Test results should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Graduates Arriving via Public Transportation

Graduates traveling by public transportation (plane, train, bus, or taxi) will be required to submit to an on-campus room quarantine upon arriving on Tuesday, April 20 through Thursday, April 29. These graduates will also be required to test on day zero, Tuesday, April 20 and again on day seven, Tuesday, April 27.

While in room quarantine, students will not be permitted to leave their assigned rooms except to use restroom facilities, for assigned COVID testing, and to pick up meals provided in the Milano Ballroom. Students are expected to bring their own linens and personal items. Returning graduates staying on campus will be held accountable to the NU Student Rules and Regulations, and the Student Behavioral Contract.

All students must leave campus immediately following Commencement or the Joint Commissioning ceremonies on May 1, when campus closes.

Those planning to arrive by public transportation should inform the university of their plans by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Monday, April 5.

Graduates Arriving via Personal Vehicle 

Graduates traveling by personal vehicle (not using public transportation) must follow the Vermont State guidelines for out-of-state travelers.

On-campus housing for those arriving via personal vehicle is available beginning on Friday, April 30th.  Students must arrive by 5 p.m. and are expected to bring their own linens and personal items.  Returning graduates staying on campus will be held accountable to the NU Student Rules and Regulations, and the Student Behavioral Contract

All students must leave campus immediately following Commencement exercises or the Joint Commissioning ceremonies on May 1 when campus closes.

Those planning to arrive by personal vehicle and in need of on campus housing should submit their requests in writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than Monday, April 5.

Graduates arriving by personal vehicle may opt to stay off campus.

IN-STATE COMMUTER STUDENT GRADUATES

In-state commuter student graduates residing in Vermont are expected to continue following the Vermont COVID-19 guidelines and must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of coming to campus. Test results should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Once approved, students will be permitted to come to campus to visit the NU Bookstore for academic regalia, visit the COVID-19 testing site, and to attend Commencement and Joint Commissioning. Students shall come directly to campus and then return directly home. NOTE: Vermont-based students may come to campus for their test.  For the most current hours of operations or to schedule an appointment, click here.  

EXCEPTIONS

Graduates who are fully vaccinated or who were previously COVID-19 positive in the last 90 days will not be required to test or quarantine.

Graduates are considered fully vaccinated after two weeks past the second vaccine dose, or two weeks past a single-dose vaccine, and must provide proof of vaccination to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Graduates who were previously COVID-19 positive in the past 90 days must provide proof of a positive test with a medical letter of infection, and proof of a completed 10-day isolation from a medical provider to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ACADEMIC REGALIA

Remote civilian student graduates and commuter student graduates who need academic regalia (cap, tassel, gown, hood) for Commencement must visit the NU Bookstore between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, April 30, or contact the NU Bookstore to make other arrangements at (802) 485-2200 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we continue to plan for a safe celebration of these most significant milestones.  Additional details, including Commencement and Commissioning Speakers are forthcoming and will be posted to www.norwich.edu/commencement.

Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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