Although gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 impact the ability to hold traditional commencement ceremonies in spring 2021, the University has planned an alternative, in-person celebratory experience for graduates—a Redbird Stage Crossing.  

Beginning in mid-February, spring and summer 2021 graduates will have an opportunity to register for a personalized Redbird Stage Crossing, to take place in Redbird Arena throughout late April and early May. 

During the Redbird Stage Crossing, graduates will have their names read as they cross a commencement stage and a slide, personalized with their information, will appear. They will receive their diploma cover and commencement programs will be available. Up to four guests may accompany the graduate. Professional photographers will be present to take formal commencement portraits. The wearing of commencement regalia is optional. Masks/face coverings will be required for all who attend, although graduates will be able to remove their masks for photos and while crossing the stage. 

All 2020 Illinois State University graduates, whether they completed their degrees in May, August, or December, are also invited to participate in a Redbird Stage Crossing.  

In addition to the Redbird Stage Crossing, Illinois State University is honoring spring and summer 2021 graduates with online ceremonies featuring slide shows of graduates and remarks by President Larry Dietz and other Illinois State officials. These recorded ceremonies will be available for viewing the first week of May. Graduates who do not attend the Redbird Stage Crossing will be sent a package with their diploma cover, commencement program books, commemorative tassel, and alumni keychain. 

All students who have applied for spring or summer 2021 graduation, all winter 2020 graduates, and all spring/summer 2020 graduates who provided their personal email for commencement-related updates will receive an email in mid-February with Redbird Stage Crossing registration information. 

Additional information is available at