The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and several Howard County partners are pleased to announce expanded opportunities for 2021 high school graduates and their families at the upcoming commencement ceremonies being held at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Originally, two guests were permitted to accompany each graduate with seating on the lawn. Following updated state guidance on outdoor gatherings, Merriweather Post Pavilion is now able to accommodate additional participation, allowing HCPSS to increase the number of guest tickets for each graduate to four. Each graduate and two of their guests will be able to be seated in the pavilion during the ceremonies. The other two guests will have space on the lawn to be able to watch their graduate receive their diploma. Details on the seating criteria specific to each high school will be provided to graduating seniors’ families by the individual schools.

“Our graduating seniors have persevered through extraordinary circumstances over the past year and a half,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Allowing for more family and friends to celebrate safely with our graduates is a great step forward, and we’re grateful to the many partners throughout Howard County who have made this possible. This is a momentous milestone for our graduates, and we want their commencements to truly be a joyful day that all their loved ones can experience together.”

Social distancing and masks will be mandatory for all graduates and guests throughout the duration of the ceremony, and protocols are being developed for quickly and safely moving graduates and attendees through the venue before and after each ceremony.


“I am grateful for the continued collaboration of County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball, Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman, and Merriweather Post Pavilion’s Jean Parker and Brad Canfield to facilitate as many guests as possible to safely attend commencement ceremonies,” said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, Superintendent of Schools. “Our seniors have missed out on so much this year and I am overjoyed that they will have the opportunity to experience an in-person graduation with family members in attendance.”

“HCPSS graduations being held at Merriweather Post Pavilion is a time-honored tradition in Howard County and I am elated that the class of 2021 will have this opportunity,” said Dr. Chao Wu, Board of Education Chair. “This expanded opportunity permitted by the County and Merriweather Post Pavilion allows us to welcome more family and friends to experience this special moment than we had originally thought.”

“Merriweather is very excited to host Howard County’s high school seniors in-person for their well-deserved graduation ceremonies,” said Jean Parker, Merriweather’s General Manager. “The venue continues to follow State and Local guidance in making sure health and safety protocols are maintained.”

All graduation ceremonies may be viewed live on the HCPSS website at, and on-demand at any time following the ceremonies. Graduations will also be rebroadcast on the HCPSS cable channel (Comcast 95, Verizon 42 in Howard County). The television rebroadcast schedule will be shared on the HCPSS website once it is finalized.

All ceremonies are scheduled to take place at Merriweather Post Pavilion, with the exception of Cedar Lane School, which will be held at the school. The schedule of graduation ceremonies is as follows.

Friday, May 28
10 a.m., Cedar Lane School
3 p.m., Wilde Lake High School

Tuesday, June 1
11 a.m., Mt. Hebron High School
3 p.m., Oakland MIlls High School
7 p.m., Atholton High School

Wednesday, June 2
11 a.m., Marriotts Ridge High School
3 p.m., Centennial High School
7 p.m., Howard High School

Thursday, June 3
11 a.m., Reservoir High School
3 p.m., Glenelg High School
7 p.m., Long Reach High School

Friday, June 4
11 a.m., Hammond High School
3 p.m., River Hill High School


Scott E