Special Classes: 2020 and 2021

Congratulations—We can’t wait to see you!

The Special Ceremony honoring the Classes of 2020 and 2021 takes place on Saturday, May 28, 2022.

    Image of Kealoha, keynote speaker at the Special Ceremony honoring the Classes of 2020 and 2021

    MIT is honored to announce that Kealoha Wong ’99 will be the keynote speaker at the special ceremony! Announcement at MIT News

    About the ceremony

    • Participating 2020 and 2021 alums: please read these IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS and be prepared to report for procession assembly at 8 am on May 28.
    • The ceremony begins at 10 am, with the arrival of the procession in Killian Court. Doors will open to guests at 8 am.
    • At the conclusion of the special ceremony, all alums and guests are invited to adjourn for cold beverages and boxed lunches. Shuttles will be stopping at Killian Court and the lunch pick-up locations.
      • Undergraduate alums in both classes and their guests proceed to the tent complex on Briggs Field. Please escort your guests down Memorial Drive to enter Briggs Field via Amherst Alley.
      • Advanced degree alums in both classes and their guests proceed to the Johnson Athletics Center.

    Class of 2020 and 2021 alums, please

    More detail about the celebration weekend is available from the MIT Alumni Association via registration for Tech Reunions. If you have questions about your registration and tickets, please send a note to reunions@mit.edu.

    Information for Classes of 2020 and 2021 on-campus celebration

    On the morning of May 28, 2022, the MIT Classes of 2020 and 2021 will be celebrated on campus in a single ceremony on Killian Court that includes an Academic Procession, welcome from President Reif, and individual name recognition (and photos) for those in attendance. All graduates and guests are invited to adjourn for cold beverages and boxed lunches following the ceremony.

    The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 am. ⇒Participating alums: please be prepared to be on campus and ready for procession assembly by 8 am.

    All alums in the Classes of 2020 and 2021—all degrees, all Schools—are invited to participate in the ceremony on May 28, 2022. Register now for Tech Reunions! (Sloan Graduate Alumni, register here).

    The special classes of 2020 and 2021 are invited to participate in MIT Reunion festivities over the celebration weekend. Register now for Tech Reunions

    MIT Sloan graduate alumni should register for the graduation celebration via MIT Sloan Reunion registration. Class of 2020 and 2021 alumni will receive waived registration fees. Contact mitsloanreunion@mit.edu with any questions.

     

    The May 28 ceremony and reception are free of charge for members of the classes of 2020 and 2021 and their guests. Registration is required - sign up today! Each alum participating in the special ceremony is eligible to register for up to four (4) guest tickets. Tickets are required for those three (3) years of age and older.

    If you require religious or other accommodation to be able to participate in the special ceremony on Saturday, May 28, please be sure to include that information when you register for Tech Reunions—thank you.

    When President Reif announced an in-person celebration for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 last December, we noted that we would be carefully monitoring Covid-19 to assess whether any significant shifts in the public health landscape should prompt changes to our policies or plans. While cases on MIT’s campus are currently decreasing, they are rising across the country and in Massachusetts. For these reasons, we strongly encourage graduates and guests to take precautions before the special ceremony on May 28.

    To help stop the spread of Covid-19, everyone can test before traveling and they can wear a high-quality mask while traveling and/or indoors. Consistent with these safeguards, MIT is strongly encouraging all returning 2020 and 2021 alums and their guests—as well as ceremony participants, staff, and volunteers—to wear high-quality masks during indoor events. The Institute will make face coverings available for free at all indoor events.

    The Institute expects that ceremony attendees who are eligible to be vaccinated will be up-to-date on their Covid vaccinations or have a medical or religious reason why they cannot receive the vaccine. We strongly encourage attendees who are unvaccinated or who have concerns to wear a well-fitting mask at all events.

    We will continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation, and keep you updated about any changes to our policies or plans. Full information about MIT policy in regard to Covid-19 is available at MIT Now.

    The Special Ceremony and Tech Reunions events are ticketed by the MIT Alumni Association. Please write to reunions@mit.edu for assistance with ceremony tickets.

    Yes, the ceremony will be webcast and available to any viewer; no registration required.

    Further information about the weekend’s festivities and arrangements (including on-site and off-site accommodations) are included on the MIT Alumni Association website.

    Yes, academic regalia is required to participate in the Academic Procession and to cross the stage. (Those in active military service may wear the prescribed dress uniform.)

    The deadline for online ordering through the MIT Coop has passed, but you may join the waitlist. If you purchased regalia from another source or have the option to borrow it from someone, you’ll be able to indicate this when registering for the ceremony via Tech Reunions. When obtaining a black gown (Bachelor, Master, or Doctor) from another source, ensure that it is plain black. A black Doctoral gown with black velvet bars on the sleeves is correct for MIT.

    Regalia orders placed online via the MIT Coop will be shipped to campus for pick-up when you arrive. For questions about your MIT Coop regalia order, please contact the Coop directly.

    The special ceremony will take place OUTSIDE in Killian Court (except in the event of severe weather), so it is best to dress for the outdoor temperature and for walking over pavement and grass.

    In case of rain, we recommend not unwrapping and putting on your regalia until you arrive at the ceremony assembly area: if it is raining, you will be given a poncho to wear over your clothing and under your regalia. This is best accomplished if your gown is clean and dry to start.

    Yes! Please come to pick up your regalia as soon as possible. If you live in the area, please take advantage of proximity to campus (and avoid the crush on the morning of May 28!) to drop by early: distribution is from Lobdell Cafeteria in the Stratton Student Center (W20).

    • May 19-21: 9 am – 5 pm
    • May 23-25: 9 am -– 5 pm
    • May 26: 7 am – 5 pm
    • May 27: 7 am – 8 pm
    • May 28: 6 am – 10 am

    Congratulations, Doctor!

    Academic regalia is required for the Academic Procession and crossing the stage. You do not have to order and pay for a hood—if you have not received one already and you are planning to participate in the Academic Procession on May 28, you may borrow one when you check in at the assembly area for the ceremony. Questions may be directed to records@mit.edu.

    Regarding a PhD gown, you may borrow one from someone else or order from the MIT Coop by April 15. If you would like to order custom gray and red regalia, please contact the Coop directly.

    Note: the format of MIT Commencement has changed and the separate Doctoral Hooding Ceremony that you may remember from past years is no longer part of the schedule. Hood investiture for the Class of 2022 takes place at School/College ceremonies.

    For alums who no longer hold valid F-1 or J-1 student visa status (not on an authorized period of F-1 OPT/STEM OPT Extension or J-1 Academic Training), and do not hold another valid US visa status, and are currently abroad and want to travel to the US, you will need to apply for and obtain a tourist visa. [NOTE: Citizens from certain countries may be able to travel to the US in tourist status, under the Visa Waiver Program, without being required to apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate. See a listing of the eligible countries.]

    Individuals who need to apply for a tourist (B-1/B-2) entry visa at the US Embassy/Consulate, should consult the US Embassy/Consulate website in their country of residence to confirm procedures to schedule a visa interview and complete the visa application.  

    The US Embassy/Consulate website will outline the documents required for the application and interview, and will include documentation such as the following:

    If you will need to apply for a visa at a US Embassy/Consulate, please apply as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there are many factors that may impact the ability for a tourist visa to be granted, including pandemic conditions that impact consulate processing.  MIT is not able to guarantee that a visa will be issued for travel to the US and is not able to contact the US Embassy/Consulate to request an expedite of visa processing.

    *Infinite Connection log-in required to download

    Citizens from certain countries may be able to travel to the US in tourist status, under the Visa Waiver Program, without being required to apply for a visa at a US Embassy/Consulate. Check the listing of the eligible countries to see if your family member(s) may be eligible for this program.

    Individuals who need to apply for a tourist (B-1/B-2) entry visa at the US Embassy/Consulate, should consult the US Embassy/Consulate website in their country of residence to confirm procedures to schedule a visa interview and complete the visa application.  

    Alums who are inviting family members to attend the special celebration should provide documentation to your family of your completion of your degree at MIT to carry to their visa interview and when entering the US, including:

    Alumni currently in the US in F-1 or J-1 status, under the authorization of F-1 OPT, F-1 STEM OPT Extension, or J-1 Academic Training, may request in the MIT ISO Student portal, iMIT, an invitation letter on behalf of their family members to verify your current F-1 or J-1 status with MIT.  

    Be sure to have your family members apply for a visa at a US Embassy/Consulate as soon as possible. Securing a visa interview may take some time, given limited slots available at some consular posts given pandemic conditions, so starting the process as soon as possible is crucial. Unfortunately, there are many factors that may impact the ability for a tourist visa to be granted, including pandemic conditions that impact consulate processing or other policy limitations. MIT is not able to guarantee that a visa will be issued for travel to the US and is not able to contact the US Embassy/Consulate to request an expedite of visa processing.

    *Infinite Connection log-in required to download

    Participating alums will be able to order digital and print images. If you would like to pre-register for photos (until 11:59 pm May 27) for 20% off, you may do so directly via GradImages.

    If you are attending the special ceremony, you will receive a digital image of your moment on stage, compliments of MIT. This will be sent to you from GradImages, who will email attendees after the ceremony, along with the offer to purchase prints. All those who are registered to participate in the special ceremony will be included by default; you may opt out of the photo program by contacting MIT Institute Events.

    Please remain alert to these pages for the most up-to-date security information—Thank you.

    There will be metal detectors in place at Killian Court and Briggs Field and a number of items are prohibited; please discuss these measures with your party so everyone knows what to expect. Attendees are advised to pack lightly for the day because all items taken into venues are subject to search—the less they are carrying, the more quickly the party will be able to proceed through security.
     
    The following items are PERMITTED in ceremony venues:

    • Snacks and beverages in plastic or paper/cardboard packaging. Plastic bottles, juice boxes, and disposable coffee cups are all ok. Water is available free of charge inside Killian Court.
    • Cameras
    • Phones
    • Diaper bags and related items (formula, juice boxes, wipes, creams, diapers, toys, etc)
    • Purses or similar, personal small bags, including tote bags and briefcases. Personal bags of this nature should be no larger than 16x16x6 inches (or approximately 40x40x15 centimeters)
    • Reading material, whether printed or electronic (Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc)
    • Laptops and tablets
    • Keys
    • Personal medical supplies

    The following items are PROHIBITED in ceremony venues:

    • Bags with wheels
    • Bags whose size exceeds 16x16x6 inches (or approximately 40x40x15 centimeters)
    • Wrapped gifts  
    • Glass bottles and containers
    • Firearms, knives (including pocketknives), and other weapons
    • Scissors and other sharp objects
    • Mace, pepper spray, or similar substances
    • Selfie sticks
    • Drones
    • Large objects

    Attendees are asked to consider the appearance of some objects, such as key ring tools/accessories, and leave anything that could be perceived as dangerous at home or in the hotel room. Service animals are welcome at the special ceremony, but no other pets of any size will be permitted inside venues. Further, we discourage balloons or anything else that would block others’ view of the ceremony. Attendees may carry an umbrella, but open umbrellas are not permitted while seated. Please note that prohibited items will be confiscated and not returned.
     
    Guests are advised to carry government-issued ID (such as driver’s licenses, state ID cards, or passports).

    The Registrar’s Office will distribute diplomas to any members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 who have not received them by mail. Hours are on Saturday, May 28, from 12 noon to 3 pm in the Media Room of the Zesiger Center (W35).

    Check out the MIT Tech Reunions page for registration and schedule details – be sure to register early! Please check that your contact information is up to date at alum.mit.edu by logging in and selecting "My Account" then "Email & Forwarding."

    Members of the Class of 2020: If you missed the deadline to record the pronunciation of your name via NameCoach, had technical difficulties, or just did not choose to call in to make a recording, do not worry: if you attend the ceremony, your name will be announced. Also, you will be included in the online graduate recognition resource, regardless of whether you attend the ceremony.

    Class of 2021: no action needed on this; your data are complete. See 2021 Graduate Recognition

     

    Check out the MIT Tech Reunions page for registration and schedule details – be sure to register early! For questions, please send a note to reunions@mit.edu.

    To view information regarding the online Commencement 2021 and 2020 programs please visit:

    Please be in touch with MIT Institute Events so we may include you in special arrangements. Use of QR codes will be part of the day; we are planning a verbal check-in for observant families, along with a plan to post a hard copy announcement in case of last-minute news that morning, and would like to make sure you get the details. Thank you.

    To reserve seating in the Disabilities sections, please complete the online request form. Please do this as soon as possible: seating is limited in these accessible sections. Questions may be directed to Disability and Access Services at 617-253-1674.

    The person with the disability does not have to sit alone. Your entire party may sit together in the Disabilities sections. All graduates receive the same number of tickets, regardless of section.

    There is no standing allowed in these sections, since that would obstruct the view of those unable to stand. Please consider this carefully as you determine whether these sections are appropriate for your family.

    The special ceremony will take place outdoors in Killian Court except in the case of severe weather. Please communicate this to your family and friends: if it is rainy or cold, they may prefer to watch the webcast, which is open to all and does not require any log-in.

    Yes, we have a lactation and infant changing tent toward the back of Killian Court, close to the entry on Memorial Drive. 

    No, strollers must be left in the stroller corral near the entrance to the court. However, you may take the child to the seat in the stroller, then ask a guest services representative for help in removing the stroller once you are settled.