The University of Georgia released a statement Thursday afternoon saying that officials are monitoring the weather for Friday’s undergraduate commencement ceremony that is set to be held outside in Sanford Stadium. The inclement weather plan on UGA’s website says that the ceremony will be held rain or shine and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather, which UGA defines as rain “accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning.” Changes will be announced by 10 a.m. on Friday morning. The alternate ceremony time is 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, though thunderstorms are predicted for that day as well.
Here is the full statement:
We continue to monitor the weather closely in anticipation of the Friday, May 10, 2019, Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, scheduled to be held outdoors at 7pm in Sanford Stadium. Our sincere hope is that the evolving forecast will allow us to continue with the ceremony as scheduled.
Due to numerous individual school and college convocation ceremonies and other Commencement-related activities scheduled for Friday afternoon, our ability to modify the start time for the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony is extremely limited. We have plans in place to address rain or severe weather, should either occur.
The inclement weather plan may be found on the Commencement website at https://commencement.uga.edu/undergraduate#inclement-weather-plan. The Undergraduate Commencement ceremony is held rain or shine and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather. Severe weather is defined as rain accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning.
Changes to the Commencement ceremony will be announced by 10am the day of Commencement, and the information will be placed on the UGA homepage by 10:30am. The alternate ceremony time is 10am the following day (Saturday, May 11). At present, unfortunately, the weather forecast also predicts thunderstorms for Saturday.
If it is raining on the morning of Commencement, but not declared severe weather, the ceremony will be held as planned in the stadium. The degree candidates will not process onto the field, but will report directly to their assigned seats on the field. The seating chart can be viewed on the commencement website. Each student will be provided a poncho to wear.
The clear bag policy is in effect for all guests. Family and friends may bring umbrellas into the stadium for Undergraduate Commencement.
The morning Graduate Commencement ceremony for master’s and doctoral candidates is scheduled for 9:30am at Stegeman Coliseum, an indoor arena. The weather forecast for Friday morning does not indicate any changes to the Graduate Ceremony will be necessary. In case of unexpected inclement weather affecting UGA’s Graduate Commencement ceremony, however, a notice will be placed on the University’s homepage.
Thank you for your understanding as we work to provide the best means to celebrate our graduates safely, given the changing weather conditions. Another message will be sent tomorrow announcing finalized ceremony details and any changes if necessary.