Sunday, June 6, 11 am CDT
After two commencement ceremonies had to be moved online over the past year, more than 250 graduates will walk the bases to get their diplomas on Sunday, June 6.
The ceremony, one of the first in-person events for Mitchell Hamline in more than a year, will take place at CHS Field in St. Paul, home of the Minnesota Twins’ newest minor league teams, the Saints.
“We can’t wait to finally have so many of our students and their friends and families in one place,” said President and Dean Anthony Niedwiecki. “It’s been a long time, and our students, faculty, and staff have done a great job of adapting. Now let’s safely celebrate.”
The ceremony will also be the first in-person commencement for Niedwiecki since taking over as Mitchell Hamline’s president and dean last July. The school has invited graduates whose ceremonies were held online – spring 2020 and winter 2021 – to also attend to have the in-person experience.
There will be two student speakers: Jeremiah Allison from the class of 2020 and Claire Gutknecht from spring 2021. Ramsey County Attorney and Mitchell Hamline trustee John Choi ‘95 will be the commencement speaker.
Graduates will sit in chairs along the dirt path around the edge of the field; to graduate, they’ll walk along the baselines and cross a stage build around second base to receive their diploma cover. They’ll then walk to third base, then home and back to their seats. Faculty and guests will be seated in the stands. A video feed of the ceremony will be projected on a large screen in the outfield; there will also be a livestream for those who are unable to attend.
“We picked CHS Field at a time when we were less certain about what protocols might still be in place because of COVID,” said Lynn LeMoine, dean of students. “The venue offers enough space to distance and a creative way to still let graduates cross the stage, regardless of what protocols are in place.”
This is not the first time Mitchell Hamline has joined with CHS Field. The ballpark has hosted a summer course called “Baseball and the Law” on several occasions. Former President and Dean Mark Gordon also threw out the first pitch at a Saints game in June 2017.