Graduations proceed with caution at UA

More than 3,000 graduates participate in University of Alabama spring and summer commencement

The University of Alabama proceeded with the spring and summer commencement Friday at Coleman Coliseum.

The ceremonies will continue Saturday and Sunday with ceremonies at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., giving between 3,000 and 3,500 students the opportunity to participate in a graduation ceremony.

The normal spring ceremony in May was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduation this weekend observed strictly enforced guidelines to help ensure public safety while also giving students an opportunity to experience a traditional graduation.

Seats on the floor of coliseum were arranged to provide social distancing, while each graduate was permitted a maximum of four guests in the arena. Coleman Coliseum has a capacity of 15,383. No more than 500 students were involved in any one of the nine commencement exercises held over three days.

While graduates were presented their diplomas on stage, the traditional robing ceremonies were suspended while handshakes and hugs were replaced with verbal congratulations.