Dear Middlebury Community,

We are writing with some important updates about the time and date of the 2021 Commencement ceremony, guidelines for remote seniors who wish to participate, and the continuation of our no-guest policy. We shared these updates with the graduating seniors earlier today.

For the past several weeks, we have continued to monitor conditions of the pandemic and to evaluate how to present the best possible Commencement program to our graduating seniors. After a year with limited gatherings and holding all-campus ceremonies virtually, we are excited that we are able to bring our graduating seniors together for an in-person Commencement, incorporating as many traditions as we can, within current health and safety protocols and Vermont guidelines. 

In order to do so, we will need to limit the number of attendees at the in-person ceremony, to include only those students graduating in the Class of 2021, and to hold the ceremony one day earlier than previously announced, on Saturday, May 29, at 2 p.m. We will allow seniors studying remotely to participate in the graduation ceremony in person, provided they follow the parameters described below. The ceremony also will be simulcast online so that anyone who wants to participate may do so virtually. A full schedule will be posted on the Commencement website once it becomes available.

Unfortunately, we are unable to allow any other guests at the ceremony, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Providing the best possible experience for our seniors is our priority, within the state of Vermont capacity and crowd limits that are now in place. We regret the inconveniences these changes may cause, but we are doing all that we can to ensure a safe, celebratory recognition of our students and their achievements. Please note that we will not be able to shift plans in the event of regulation changes between now and the day of the ceremony. 

Guidelines for Remote Seniors to Participate in Commencement

Seniors who are studying remotely and wish to participate may join the in-person ceremony on campus only if they are able to complete all Vermont travel and quarantine requirements and any College requirements in place at that time. For health and safety reasons, remote seniors will not be permitted to attend any other events or be on campus for any other reason other than Commencement. We regret that we are not able to allow any other guests or February graduates to participate. 

Additional requirements and parameters are as follows: 

  • All off-campus seniors who are studying remotely must arrive at the scheduled time and depart immediately when the graduation ceremony ends. 

  • We will provide financial assistance for travel and hotel expenses for any currently remote seniors who wish to participate and who qualify. Returning seniors will not be permitted to complete quarantine on campus. To apply for assistance, please contact Student Financial Services at

  • Students who can be fully vaccinated should do so at least two weeks before returning to campus to eliminate their need to quarantine upon arrival in Vermont.

  • Any senior returning to campus must abide by the College’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy, the Middlebury Handbook, and all other applicable rules and directives. This includes not participating in unauthorized gatherings or parties off campus. 

We very much look forward to celebrating our graduates to mark this most important milestone, with as much pomp and circumstance as is possible. We appreciate your understanding as we all continue to navigate the challenges before us during this unusual time.


Laurie Patton

Jeff Cason