Commencement Ceremony 2021 Will Be Held June 13

News subtitle

Campus organizers have set a number of details for this year’s event.

Memorial Field
Photo by Robert Gill 

Campus organizers have set some of the details for this year’s planned in-person commencement ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on June 13. Also decided are dates and tentative times for investiture and class day events for graduating students from the professional and graduate schools.

The commencement ceremony, for all graduating undergraduates and graduate and professional students, will be held on Memorial Field rather than on the Green to allow enough room for physical distancing and for event organizers to manage the flow of those entering and exiting the commencement site. The event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., Eastern time.

Graduates’ families and friends will be able to view the ceremonies online. Due to health COVID-19 safety precautions expected to still be in place, only the graduates and an as-yet undetermined number of faculty and senior administrators will be allowed at the in-person ceremony.

Information on how to livestream all of the events will be available in May on the Dartmouth commencement website.

Also scheduled are:

  • Geisel School of Medicine class day, 6 p.m., May 26, Spaulding Auditorium
  • Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies pre-recorded investiture, June 11, time available to be determined
  • Tuck School of Business investiture, 11 a.m., June 11, Memorial Field
  • The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, 2 p.m., June 11, Memorial Field
  • Thayer School of Engineering investiture, noon, June 12, Memorial Field

Details are not yet available for the other ceremonies and celebrations that ordinarily take place during the days leading up to commencement—including the ROTC commissioning ceremony, baccalaureate, Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony, and undergraduate class day.

Most of the undergraduate members of the Class of 2021 are expected to be in residence on campus for spring term and will be tested twice-weekly for COVID-19, which has led planners to believe that Dartmouth can safely host the in-person graduation event. Graduating students who are studying away from campus will be allowed to attend the ceremony virtually or in person, provided they meet testing and quarantine requirements prior to their participation if they choose the in-person option.

The move to Memorial Field won’t be the first time commencement was held in the football stadium. In 1995, then-President Bill Clinton delivered the commencement address in the stadium. The next year, the ceremony was moved back to the Green, where it has been held ever since.

Dartmouth’s commencements began on the Green, with the first commencement in 1771, but over the years the ceremony has been held at a number of locations on campus. It was in College Hall (1775-85), now part of Collis Center; in unfinished Dartmouth Hall (1787-89); in Webster Hall (1908-31), now Rauner Special Collections Library; at the Bema (1932-52), Dartmouth’s outdoor amphitheater; and on Baker Lawn (1953-94).

As it becomes available, information on the end-of-year ceremonies will be updated on the commencement website.

For the most recent information on Dartmouth’s response to the pandemic, visit the Dartmouth Together COVID-19 website.

Susan Boutwell can be reached at

Susan J. Boutwell