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UWA to recognize more than 700 graduates on May 8

UWA Spring 2021 Commencement
Ceremony to stream live, ticket required for admission to follow health & safety guidelines

The University of West Alabama will honor more than 700 graduates during spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 8. The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at Tiger Stadium on the UWA campus. This spring commencement is different from others in the past, with changes made to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. A limited number of guest tickets are available, and the ceremony will stream live.

The University will confer degrees ranging from associate to doctoral in the division of nursing, the colleges of liberal arts, natural sciences and mathematics, business and technology, education, and the school of graduate studies in a combined ceremony.

“There are three major differences for commencement exercises this spring, including location, ticketing, and the combining of undergraduate and graduate ceremonies,” explained Dr. Tina N. Jones, commencement chair. “Our past two commencements have been held in a hybrid format because regulations did not allow for the crowd size that our commencement exercises usually draw. We are excited to be able to allow two guests per participating graduate at the event.”

Each participating graduate can request up to two guest passes, and graduating students have already received email instructions for requesting their passes. These passes are not transferrable and are uniquely coded to help ensure socially-distanced capacity is not exceeded. The ceremony will stream live at

“The health and safety of our graduates, their guests, and our campus is paramount,” Jones said. “This graduating class is the first in three semesters to have any guests, and although this is a very limited number of guests, we want graduates to be able to share this day with close friends or family. We will follow the state and local requirements in place at the time of the event, including our University Operational Plan for Spring 2021, which outlines protocol and requirements for activities on campus, including social distancing and face coverings.”

The ceremony will be held in Tiger Stadium, which provides guests seating in the stadium at distances prescribed by state and healthcare authorities. In the event that inclement weather requires that the ceremony be moved to an indoor location, guest passes for Tiger Stadium will be void, and no guests will be admitted in the smaller venue.

The University will recognize students graduating with academic honors. The undergraduate with the highest GPA will be awarded the 2021 Ralph M. Lyon Award. In addition to honoring students for their academic achievements, the University will also recognize faculty recipients of the Nellie McCrory Service Excellence Award, the McIlwain Bell Trustee Professor Award and the William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching.

The University will also induct the newest members of the Society of the Golden Key, a prestigious organization established to honor University alumni, faculty, and staff who have brought distinction to their alma mater through exceptional service in their fields. Emeritus professors will also be recognized for their service.

For more information on UWA Commencement Exercises, contact Dr. Tina N. Jones, commencement chairperson, at or call 205-652-3833.