The University of South Carolina will hold Spring 2021 commencement exercises outdoors at Williams-Brice Stadium. The school traditionally held graduation indoors at the Colonial Life Arena. Photo by: Kourtney Vermillion.

The University of South Carolina announced that graduation will be held in-person at Williams-Brice Stadium on May 7 and 8.

The ceremony will be socially-distanced with ceremony participants sitting on the football field, Assistant Vice President of Media and External Engagement Jeff Stensland said Wednesday. Graduating students will receive a maximum of five guest tickets.

The decision comes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that cancelled in-person festivities the previous two semesters. UofSC senior Rene Charles said he loves that the upcoming graduation will be held in-person.

“I feel like it’s a cool experience, and honestly it’s a blessing,” said Charles.

Graduates who do not wish to attend the in-person ceremony will have the option to watch a livestream of the event.

President Bob Caslen sent an email to students Wednesday morning about the graduation announcement and encouraged them to continue to maintain public health practices. Caslen also took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the plans.

Graduates of the class of 2020 also have the opportunity to graduate in-person at Williams-Brice on May 15. The University has already awarded degrees to members of this class, but invites them to celebrate their accomplishments alongside their classmates.

Students eligible for graduation should RSVP by March 24 to be recognized in-person for their accomplishments.

Other universities across the state have also announced plans for in-person graduation this semester.

The College of Charleston will hold two different ceremonies for students to choose from. One will be at the Cistern Yard for students who choose not to have guests. The second will be at a soccer stadium for those who choose to have guests. Both of the ceremonies will be live streamed and students also have to option to be recognized virtually.

Clemson University plans to hold an in-person graduation at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Graduates will be allowed to invite four guests.

Senior Rene Charles called the news “a blessing” during an event on Greene St. Photo by: Trey Martin.