Campus Update #21: More Decisions on 2021 Commencement
To ACPHS Community,

After reviewing the currently available New York and Vermont guidance regarding events, touring the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), and multiple discussions, I want to share with you the latest decisions regarding our 2021 Commencement.

One Commencement at SPAC

Our 2021 Commencement will be held at SPAC on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 1 p.m. Regrettably, Vermont event guidance does not permit us to have a separate commencement in Vermont. Fortunately, students traveling from Vermont to attend commencement will not need to quarantine upon their return to Vermont since state guidance exempts school-sponsored activities from the quarantine requirement. Since Vermont is contiguous to New York, anyone traveling from Vermont is exempt from New York's travel advisory, including completing the traveler health form.

Two Guests Allowed Per Graduate

Consistent with Governor Cuomo's recent announcement regarding updated capacity limits for large outdoor performing arts venues like SPAC, we are permitted to allow each graduate to have two guests. SPAC will be issuing non-transferrable tickets to approved attendees and have security onsite to ensure all those admitted have followed the testing or vaccination requirements noted below. A survey will be sent soon from the Office of the Registrar for graduates to indicate if they will be attending and which two guests they would like to attend.

All Attendees Must Be Tested or Vaccinated

Consistent with New York State guidelines, all commencement attendees must show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test (72 hours for PCR or 6 hours for rapid antigen test) or completed vaccination series (2 weeks to 90 days) prior to entry and are subject to strict state guidance on face coverings, social distancing, and health screening. We do not have the testing capacity to test all commencement attendees so those attending will need to be tested at an off-campus location. More details will be forthcoming on how attendees can show they have met the testing or vaccination requirement. There will be no exceptions to this entry requirement.

Commencement Will Also Be Live Streamed

We will also be live streaming commencement for those unable to attend. More details on how to view the live stream will be sent separately.

We are doing our best to keep you informed as quickly as possible so you can make your plans for commencement. However, as you can see, there are a lot of details to still work through. We appreciate your patience and will continue to communicate decisions as soon as we can. In the meantime, if you have questions, you can email Patty Tompkins at

The health and safety of our ACPHS community and their families continues to be our top priority. Our 2021 Commencement will be abiding by all required New York State health and safety protocols. We are looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate in-person the hard-earned achievements and resilience of our Class of 2021.

Greg Dewey
ACPHS President