NOTE: THESE PROTOCOLS WERE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 17, 2022.
MUIH is committed to a commencement ceremony that provides a safe experience for participants and guests, in alignment with health and safety protocols outlined by federal, state, and local entities as well as MUIH’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan. The following health and safety protocols will be used and enforced for the 2023 commencement ceremony. Additional details and directions for each of these will be provided upon the arrival of you and your guests at the Lyric Theater. Individuals who fail to follow these protocols may be asked to leave the event.
NOTE THAT THESE PROTOCOLS MAY CHANGE BASED ON CHANGES IN THE TRAJECTORY OF THE PANDEMIC. ANY CHANGES IN THESE PROTOCOLS WILL BE POSTED ON THE COMMENCEMENT WEBSITE.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols:
- Masking: Masks are optional for all ceremony participants and guests. Individual who wish to wear a mask should plan to bring their own. Masks will not be provided upon arrival at the Lyric theater.
- Health Status Checks: The individual health status, vaccination status, or recent COVID-19 test results of ceremony participants and guests will not be checked in advance of the ceremony or upon arrival at the Lyric Theater.
- COVID-19 Illness: Graduates and their guests who are sick with COVID-19 or think they might have COVID-19 are asked not to attend the event to ensure the health and safety of themselves and of others, per public health guidelines.
- Physical Distancing: Physical distancing will be used in the lobby and other common spaces of the Lyric, during entry and departure from the building, and while seated in the theater. Ceremony participants and guests are discouraged from congregating in indoor common spaces, such as lobby areas, before and after the ceremony. Graduates and guests are encouraged to meet outside after the ceremony.
- Guest Seating: Ushers will seat guests in designated and physically distanced seats; guests will not be permitted to seat themselves. Groups of family and friends arriving together will be allowed to sit together in a pod with no spacing between the individuals in their pod. Ushers will ensure spacing between pods to provide physical distancing between different groups of individuals.
- Ceremony Participant Seating:: University Marshals will seat graduates, faculty, and platform party members in designated and physically distanced seats.
- On-Stage Protocols: Protocols will be in place for the on-stage hooding of doctoral graduates and congratulations of all graduates as they cross the stage. We will hood those doctoral graduates who wish to participate. When graduates cross the stage, hugging and hand shaking will not be permitted. Bowing, clapping or other socially distanced expressions of congratulations are allowed.
- Leaving the Lyric: Guests are requested to remain in their seats at the end of the ceremony until after the platform party, faculty, and graduates have left the theatre. Please follow the directions of the ushers when it is time to exit your row.
- Gathering After the Ceremony: Graduates and guests are asked to plan on meeting each other outside the Lyric at the end of the ceremony to ensure adequate physical distancing.
Graduates and their guests, faculty, and platform party members are advised to be aware of the general risks associated with exposure to the COVID-19 virus, to assess their individual health status and risks in the context of the event health and safety protocols, and to exercise personal responsibility and concern for others in deciding to attend this event.
Graduates and their guests, faculty, and platform party members are advised to be prepared for changes in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols and the commencement ceremony plans due to the evolving nature of the pandemic. Decisions and new requirements may be put in place by the Lyric, the City of Baltimore, the State of Maryland, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); MUIH may be required to comply with these decisions, and they may impact aspects of MUIH’s ceremony. MUIH will share any changes in protocols and planning on this website, and via emails to graduates, faculty, and the platform party.