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Want Your Parents At Graduation? Ohio State Students Better Act Fast

Ohio State graduation at Ohio Stadium
Ohio State University
A silhouette of an Ohio State graduate at Ohio Stadium

Monday is the deadline for Ohio State University students to get their tickets for graduation. This is the first time the school's held an in-person ceremony since late 2019.

Typically students don't need to get tickets for spring commencement. Ohio Stadium is big enough to accommodate any and all guests they might want to bring. But this is not a typical year. Students are limited to two tickets for the May 9 event, and they have to request them by today.

"In a normal year, Ohio State famously has a single commencement ceremony where everybody gets their actual diploma, it's something we're really proud of. We won’t be able to go all the way back to that," says Ohio State University spokesman Ben Johnson.

The school has had to change a lot about its commencement ceremony due to COVID.

"We'll have two commencement ceremonies: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, he says. “Groups of family members will have to sit six feet apart. Everyone will be masked."

Still, Johnson says the tweaks are worth it. The school surveyed 2021 grads in the lead-up to this spring.

“And more than 86% said they would prefer to have some sort of in-person ceremony,” he says. “So it became a question of 'Can we do this in a safe and healthy manner and what will that look like?'"

Johnson says that means health screenings for students. Plus, they’re still encouraging all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated through the school’s clinic.

Ohio State will also have a celebration for the class of 2020 in August. Typically, end of summer commencement is held at the Schottenstein Center. But because last year's graduation was held virtually, they're moving it to the Shoe to accommodate all the graduates.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.