The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

A&M-San Antonio to hold first formal commencement ceremonies since pandemic

A&M-San Antonio to hold first formal commencement ceremonies since pandemic - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Students at Texas A&M University-San Antonio take a photo with President Cynthia Teniente-Matson during fall commencement at Freeman Coliseum Dec. 17, 2019. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M University-San Antonio Flickr

Texas A&M University-San Antonio graduates will walk the stage this fall at the university’s first formal commencement ceremony since 2019, with graduation celebrations on campus, Dec. 18 and 19.

Abigail Montañez-Rodríguez, manager of event services in the Office of the President, said the university aimed to deliver the in-person experience that students have been asking for.

“We got feedback from the past few graduations we did here [on campus], and we got really great responses in May when it came to doing it Saturday and Sunday; it works better for people’s schedules,” Montañez-Rodríguez said in a virtual interview Oct. 22.  

There will be three ceremonies divided by college in the auditorium:

College of Education & Human Development – 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 18

College of Business – 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18

College of Arts & Sciences – 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19

Due to capacity restrictions, family and friends can watch the ceremony live-streamed in areas throughout campus while students cross the graduation stage and receive a full degree conferral in the university’s main auditorium. 

The university will also have an outdoor stage, similar to spring commencement, where students can walk the stage and have their names read in front of family and friends. 

Graduates can take advantage of photo opportunities amid the university’s landmarks.

“We are looking to create the whole ceremony experience for them again, because it’s been two years now since they’ve gotten that,” Montañez-Rodríguez said. “We hope it’s a great experience for everybody.”

The university hosted several variations of commencement throughout the pandemic, including a curbside event and an outdoor stage-crossing graduation celebration in 2020. More recently, this year’s spring graduation was planned as an outdoor event, but due to weather conditions was moved into the auditorium.

Students are required to register to participate in the ceremonies and are encouraged to sign up in advance, though they can do so up until their commencement day. So far, 370 students are registered, about a third of the way to the university’s projected attendance numbers, Montañez-Rodríguez said.

In taking steps toward pre-pandemic conditions, the university is doubling the amount of guests per student from the spring commencement. Graduates can now invite up to 10 guests to attend the on-campus celebration.

Montañez-Rodríguez said the university is trying something new: replacing paper tickets with silicone wristbands. Graduates can expect wristbands to be available for pickup at the Welcome Center after Thanksgiving.

The university is also bringing back cording and hooding ceremonies, to be held at the ceremonies and on the days leading up.

For families unable to attend graduation in-person, the university will livestream the ceremonies on YouTube, as with previous ceremonies. 

According to campus Graduation Services, 646 students have applied for fall graduation, with additional applications being accepted until Dec. 1. Seniors who have not yet applied to graduate are encouraged to touch base with their adviser.

“It’s going to be a pilot and we’re working through the details to make it as personal and appropriate for all of the community,” said university President Cynthia Teniente-Matson.


For more information, visit Graduation Services or call (210) 784-1369.


About the Author

Denise Treviño
Assistant Editor
Denise Treviño is a senior communications major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Born and raised in the Alamo City, she has always aspired to make a difference in her community. She hopes to grow her storytelling skills and delve deeper into the world of multimedia journalism through her current work at university. After graduation, she looks forward to pursuing a career that allows her to tell stories that will inspire as well as entertain. In her free time, you will find her watching and analyzing British detective shows on the couch with her dogs Ransom and Dougie, strumming a ukulele or out on a hike with family and friends.

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