Erinn Barcomb-Peterson
KU News Service

Information for news media covering commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020

Mon, 05/03/2021

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas invites news media to cover the university’s 148th and 149th Commencement ceremonies.

To provide the best and safest commencement experience for graduates and guests, there will be three ceremonies for the Class of 2021 on May 16, beginning at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The ceremony for the Class of 2020 will begin at 10:30 a.m. May 23.

At the beginning of each ceremony, graduates begin the traditional “walk down the Hill” to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, followed by a program and the conferral of degrees by Chancellor Douglas A. Girod.

The 2021 honorary degree recipient, Dr. Barney Graham, will receive his Doctor of Science Honorary Degree and give remarks at the 10:30 a.m. May 16 ceremony.

News media photographers will need KU credentials to shoot in the photo pen on the Campanile plaza and to get inside the stadium. News organization credentials alone will not suffice. To receive KU credentials, email KU News Service at by 5 p.m. May 7.

Please note the following changes for this year’s ceremonies:

  • To ensure social distancing in the photo pen, the number of photographers in the photo pen at each ceremony will be limited. In your credential request, please include your preferred ceremony time. Credentials will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • As in years past, because of space constraints, media members may not bring large video cameras with tripods in the photo pen.
  • The Protect KU guidelines for our campus include wearing a proper mask and practicing social distancing.
  • To allow for social distancing, guests and media will not be allowed to gather on Memorial Drive or on the walkways leading from the Campanile to the stadium.
  • Students will not line up nor be seated by school. The graduates will be seated on the field, and the platform party will be seated in the south end zone.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • As always, only graduates are allowed to walk through the Campanile.
  • Unmanned aerial systems, including drones, are prohibited anywhere near David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium or the Campanile during the event, per Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
  • Members of the news media are welcome to capture photos or video of the events from any publicly accessible area.
  • Nearly 2,300 parking stalls are available a short distance from the stadium, and a complimentary shuttle service will run May 16 and 23.

Additional details, including an inclement weather plan, are available at

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