Friday, March 19, 2021

Spring 2021 commencement update

In this video, Tanya Uden-Holman, associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of the University College, shares what students and their families can expect to see during the spring 2021 virtual commencement ceremonies and graduation celebration at Kinnick Stadium. To sign up for email updates regarding the ceremonies, visit and click the hyperlink in the banner.

Graduation celebrations and virtual commencement

Celebration of Graduates at Kinnick Stadium

The University of Iowa is excited to announce that it will host an in-person, outdoor celebration for spring 2021 graduates on Sunday, May 16, at Kinnick Stadium. While this will not be an official commencement ceremony and will not replace the university’s virtual commencement ceremonies, we hope that graduates and their families will take this additional opportunity to celebrate all that they have achieved.

This offers students and families more flexibility in choosing an event that meets their comfort level during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students can participate in virtual commencement, the in-person celebration, or both.

A Celebration of Graduates will take place at 3 p.m. Gates will open at 1:30 p.m. The celebration is open to all spring 2021 graduates and two guests per graduate.

The event is not a commencement ceremony, and graduates will not be recognized individually. Names and photos of graduates will be displayed on the stadium’s video board before and after the program. Graduates will be honored with others from their college during a short program, which will include remarks from UI administrators and student leaders. Graduates are invited to wear a cap and gown for this celebratory event, but it is not required.

Everyone participating in the Celebration of Graduates will be required to follow UI COVID-19 mitigation strategies. This includes staying home if you are sick, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and washing or sanitizing hands frequently. Hand sanitizing stations will be available at the event. A mask will be required for entry into Kinnick Stadium. You can find more detailed information here and students who are eligible to participate will receive additional information by email.

Spring 2021 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who have applied for a degree will receive an email soon with instructions on how to RSVP. The RSVP process will close May 1 and electronic tickets will be emailed to graduates. If you are eligible but have not yet applied for a degree, you must do so here in order to attend the Celebration of Graduates.

For more information, see this FAQ.

Hawkeye Farewell on the Pentacrest

In addition to virtual commencement and the Celebration of Graduates, the UI also will provide an opportunity for spring 2021 graduates to celebrate their final days as students by having their photo professionally taken on the Pentacrest, north of Old Capitol.

In addition, degree applicants will be able to use their Iowa One card to pick up commencement materials at this time.

Photo opportunities and material distribution will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Monday, May 10, through Friday, May 14, on the Pentacrest. Rain location for material distribution will be 208 Calvin Hall.

No cost is associated with having professional photos taken, however there is a cost if graduates choose to order photos from the service. Graduates also can take their own photos on the east lawn of the Pentacrest and with Graduation Herky and a block IOWA display.

For more information, see this FAQ.

Virtual Commencement

The Celebration of Graduates does not replace UI’s virtual commencement ceremonies that will individually recognize each participating graduate. Details about each of Iowa’s 16 ceremonies can be found on the UI commencement website. Spring 2021 graduates have until April 22 to RSVP to take part by following these instructions.

Mental health resources: Upcoming mental health presentation series

Continued coping in the time of COVID-19 continues to be an uncharted, life-changing task for everyone, and it can make caring for your own mental health and the mental health of those around you a challenge.

Join or re-watch one of these upcoming mental health panel discussions to identify ways you can continue caring for yourself and others.

Managing the Future of Work and Learning

  • Thursday, March 25, 1 to 2 p.m. CDT
  • Led by Nikole Mac, director of leadership and organizational development, UI Human Resources

The Unseen Impacts of the Pandemic: What do I do with all my losses and disappointments?

  • Thursday, April 1, 1 to 2 p.m. CDT
  • Led by Linda Stewart Kroon, director of the Women’s Resource and Action Center, and Katryn Duarte, assistant director of sexual assault services at the Rape Victim Advocacy Program.

Is everything I feel my fault? Feeling depressed and anxious when it actually may be sadness and stress

  • Thursday, April 8, 1 to 2 p.m. CDT
  • Led by Stacey McElroy-Heltzel, assistant professor of psychological and quantitative foundations

To access the presentations and subsequent recordings, visit

For more information about mental health resources, see

For counseling and support, the Employee Assistance Program offers confidential counseling at no cost for UI employees and their families; or University Counseling Service offers confidential counseling and support for students. Participate in Kognito Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Training.

COVID-19 vaccine update: Johnson County vaccination progress

According to the state’s data, Iowa has administered a total of 1,181,990 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 71,067 doses have been administered to those who reside in Johnson County.

Please keep in mind immunity is not achieved immediately after receiving the vaccine. It also will take time for everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the required doses. In the meantime, we can continue to protect ourselves and each other by wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance from others, washing our hands frequently, and avoiding indoor gatherings with others outside our household. More information about the state of Iowa’s vaccine administration is available here.

County Population Two-Dose Series Initiated Two-Dose Series Completed Single-Dose Series Completed % of Johnson County Residents with Two-Dose Series Initiated and Two- and Single-Dose Series Completed % of Johnson County Residents with Two- and Single-Dose Series Completed
Johnson 151,140 16,489 26,800 978 29.29% 18.38%

University of Iowa self-reported COVID-19 testing

These data reflect new cases since March 17, 2021.

The University of Iowa has published an updated snapshot of self-reported positive COVID-19 tests from faculty, staff, and students.

Number of self-reported cases of COVID-19


  • New cases: 5
  • Total cases: 3,042


  • New cases: 2
  • Total cases: 453

These numbers reflect only self-reported positive or presumed positive COVID-19 tests from UI faculty, staff, and students on the academic campus since Aug. 18, 2020. These data will not match data reported by UI Hospitals & Clinics or by the Iowa Department of Public Health for several reasons, including different testing time intervals and geographic scope. Students who also are employees of the university are only reported in the student number to avoid double counting. The UI has more than 30,000 students and nearly 30,000 employees. Many employees continue to work remotely but have self-reported to authorize sick leave.

Number of residence hall students in quarantine: 0*

Number of residence hall students in self-isolation: 2**

*Quarantine: Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others.

**Self-isolation: Isolation is used to separate people infected.