Following recent changes to Massachusetts’ COVID-related restrictions, Boston College has updated its plans for the 2021 Commencement Exercises, and also set a fall date for a celebration for the Class of 2020.

 The University announced last week that undergraduates will be able to invite two guests to the Baccalaureate Mass on May 23, the main Commencement ceremony on May 24 in Alumni Stadium, and the school diploma ceremonies taking place that day across campus.

Graduate students can invite one guest to the Baccalaureate Mass and their school-specific ceremony on May 23, and to the main ceremony on May 24. Boston College Law School will hold its Commencement Exercises on May 28 in Conte Forum; information and updates are available at

 At the time of the April 13 Commencement announcement, the state’s COVID-19 regulations limited attendance for events in stadiums to 12 percent of capacity. To meet this directive, the University said only graduates, trustees, senior administrators, honorary degree recipients, and faculty marshals would be able to attend the ceremony.

The University submitted a revised plan for Commencement after Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced on April 27 that the state would raise the capacity allowed at stadiums to 25 percent. The plan was approved on May 5 by the Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Licensing Board.

In accordance with state and local regulations, all attendees must wear face coverings at indoor and outdoor events, and adhere to physical distancing requirements.  All guests will be required to register and complete a health attestation via the BC Check App, which they will receive through the advanced registration process.

New York Times columnist and commentator David Brooks will address the Class of 2021 at the main Commencement ceremony, and receive an honorary degree. Other honorary degree recipients are: Lyndia Downie, president and executive director of the Pine Street Inn; former BC football player Sean Guthrie ’01, M.Ed.’14, head of middle school at The Fessenden School in West Newton, Mass.; Christine Montenegro McGrath ’87, vice president and chief of global impact, sustainability, and well-being for Mondelēz International; and former University Vice President for Human Resources and Senior Advisor to the President Leo V. Sullivan, M.Ed. ’80, P ’89 and ’90.

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The University also announced that it will hold a celebration for the Class of 2020 during the weekend of October 15-17. The festivities will feature a “game day experience” at the BC-North Carolina State football game on October 16, while the next day will be highlighted by a Baccalaureate Mass and a degree recognition ceremony that will be followed by a celebratory luncheon.

Plans for the event remain subject to change should the University “be required to adhere to restrictions placed on large gatherings,” the announcement noted.


University Communications | May 2021