In a note to the campus community Friday, Feb. 26, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee announced plans for return to Murphy Center for a series of small, in-person Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies as well as a number of other university updates. Full details are below.
To the University Community,
As we approach the month of March, I wanted to pause and express my gratitude for everyone — students, faculty and staff — working hard to keep COVID-19 in check. I am proud that our students and faculty in our School of Nursing, under the leadership of Dr. Jenny Sauls, and our MTSU Student Health Services team, under the leadership of Richard Chapman and Dr. Eric Clark, stepped forward in service to Rutherford County by opening a clinic on campus to provide vaccinations for those eligible under state guidelines. Eligible persons may request an appointment at the MTSU clinic by calling the Rutherford County COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 615-898-7997; calling the State scheduling center at 866-442-5301; or completing a form online at https://vaccinate.tn.gov. It is my hope that, when it’s your turn, you’ll get the vaccination.
Meanwhile, we are working diligently toward preparing the Fall 2021 Semester and the return of normal (and pre-pandemic) operations on campus. As such, in consultation with local and state health officials, and while monitoring trends regarding the pace of infections in the state and region, we are taking steps to return to Murphy Center for this May’s Spring commencement ceremonies.
I am pleased to announce that I have authorized the University to schedule 12 to 15 small, in-person commencement ceremonies at Murphy Center on the weekend of May 7-9. We will also hold a special ceremony in Murphy on Saturday, May 1, for any 2020 graduates who could not participate at last November’s commencement at Floyd Stadium. Masks and social distancing will be required and strictly enforced.
All May 2021 expected graduates and May, August, and December 2020 graduates who wish to participate in a May ceremony must complete and submit an electronic “I’m Attending” reservation form, which the Registrar’s Office will email Monday (March 1). The electronic reservation form must be submitted no later than Friday, March 26, in order to participate in a May ceremony.
Based upon the responses we receive, graduates will be assigned to an appropriate ceremony determined by the college of their major. Each participant will be allotted a limited number of guest tickets that will be distributed at the Student Union during scheduled cap and gown pick-up dates.
Participating graduates will be notified of their assigned ceremony day and time on Thursday, April 1, and will receive precise seating assignments, arrival times and other instructions closer to the ceremony date.
Please visit our MTSU Graduation webpage for more information.
Here are other updates of interest:
- SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY: Due to the University being closed the week of Feb. 15 because of inclement weather, we have extended the deadline to submit an application to Monday (March 1). Students must submit the online Scholarship Application by Monday to be considered for an award for the 2021-22 academic year. Go to www.mtsu.edu/scholarships/opportunities and login using your PipelineMT username and password. Once logged in, complete the General Scholarship Application.
- A REMINDER ON MARCH 12 STUDY DAY: Please remember that Friday, March 12, has been designated as a Study Day for our students. No assignments, meetings, exams or other required class activities should take place that day. All administrative offices will be open during regular business hours.
- HOUSING RETURNS TO DOUBLE ROOMS THIS FALL: As part of our return to pre-pandemic operations, MTSU Housing will again offer double-occupancy rooms in our residence halls in the coming academic year. However, we will make available a larger inventory of private rooms than were available before the pandemic precautions were implemented. Go to www.mtsu.edu/housing for more information.
- TRUE BLUE TOUR TO RESUME THIS FALL: MTSU’s Undergraduate Admissions team will resume its annual True Blue Tour events for prospective students. In addition to our array of on-campus Preview Days and events for Rutherford County students, the tour will have eight stops in Tennessee (Nashville, Williamson County, Clarksville, Knoxville, Johnson City, Chattanooga, Jackson and Memphis); two in Alabama (Huntsville and Birmingham); two in Kentucky (Louisville and Lexington); and one in Georgia (Atlanta). You’ll find a schedule soon at www.mtsu.edu/rsvp.
We’ll announce soon our plans for academic operations and other campus activities for the summer. Again, my thanks and deepest appreciation for all you are doing to keep safe and stay on course this semester. Please continue to monitor our website, www.mtsu.edu/coronavirus, for updates. And continue to follow our requirements for the wearing of masks in campus facilities, maintaining social distances and observing posted capacity limits.
Sidney A. McPhee