WPI Commencement graduates crossing Earle Bridge

Sense of Place: A Commencement Marathon

During a year when nothing was normal, WPI celebrated the May graduation of the Class of 2021 in a most unusual way. To maintain social distancing, the university held six ceremonies—five in-person and one virtual (for students unable to come to campus). Two in-person ceremonies celebrated graduate students; three were devoted to undergrads (one for The Business School and the School of Arts & Sciences, and two for the School of Engineering).

For President Laurie Leshin, that meant delivering six speeches and enduring three consecutive days of elbow bumps. For graduates, it meant enjoying the tradition of crossing Earle Bridge one last time as students. And for parents, it was the opportunity to cheer on their students as they crossed a real stage (even if their cheers were muffled by masks).

Members of the Class of 2020, whose in-person graduation was deferred, had their chance to cross the bridge and the stage during a single ceremony on Aug. 7.

Read more about Commencement for the Class of 2021

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