5.19.21: Masks at Commencement

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community and Lehigh families.

***Please note: This message is part of an archive where a record of messages are posted in their original form at the time they were sent. As policies can change, check the current campus status page for the most updated health and safety protocols. Past messages will not be edited to reflect the most current policies.***


Dear Members of the Lehigh Community and Lehigh Families, 

On Monday, the COVID Response Team announced new Lehigh mask rules effective immediately for all unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. As part of that message, we shared that masks would be required at Commencement.  

We are providing UPDATED GUIDANCE that masks may be removed at certain points during Commencement, as described below.

Updated Commencement-Specific Mask Guidance

Given the unique context of Commencement with both outside guests and members of the Lehigh community coming together in one space, we are permitting masks to be removed in certain situations (aligning with current university policy), with additional social distancing measures in place. These rules are specific to Commencement.


  • AFTER check-in and once students, faculty, staff and guests are inside the stadium, they can remove their masks and must keep at least a 6-ft distance from those outside of their family group. 

  • Given the seating and 6-ft distancing plans already in place, students sitting on the field as well as family members in the stands and members of the presidential party and faculty MAY REMOVE their masks during the ceremony


  • Masks should be worn at all times when within SIX FEET of others outside of a family group. 

  • Students, faculty, staff and guests must wear masks if using bus transportation and at all of the check-in lines (e.g, ticket scanning, bus check-in, guest check-in, student check-in, faculty check-in, staff check-in, media check-in and university leadership check-in). 

  • During any interactions with Commencement volunteers, masks must be worn. Volunteers will also be wearing masks at all times when providing assistance. 

We recognize some students, faculty, staff and guests may choose to continue voluntarily wearing a mask for personal safety, medical or other reasons. We encourage members of the community to support one another in those decisions and to not make anyone feel stigmatized for wearing a mask.

Hopefully this provides some clarification for attendees and awareness for those who are celebrating Commencement. 

We are looking forward to honoring the Classes of 2020 and 2021 in the days ahead. 

-COVID Response Team