ITHACA, N.Y. — In March, after months of uncertainty due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Ithaca College made the decision to host an in-person commencement –– slated for this weekend. Now, in anticipation for Sunday’s celebration, the IC administration has announced that alumna Liz Tigelaar, now an Emmy Award-nominated television creator and producer, will deliver the main commencement address.

A 1998 IC graduate, Tigelaar is known for her work as the creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere,” which received five Emmy nominations including Outstanding Limited Series, as well as five NAACP Image Award nominations, a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Limited Series, and a WGA Award nomination for Adapted Long Form Series.

According to the college’s announcement, “Tigelaar started her television career as an assistant on “Dawson’s Creek” and went on to serve as a writer/producer on such series as NBC’s “American Dreams,” A&E’s “Bates Motel,” and ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters,” “Revenge,” and “Nashville.” She created her own series, the critically praised drama “Life Unexpected,” which aired on the CW for two seasons.”

Another notable alum, Eileen Filler-Corn from the class of 1986 who made history by becoming the first female speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, will receive the Ithaca College Presidential Medal during the ceremony.

And representing the graduates at Commencement will be business administration major and Senior Class President Ali Kelley.

While the in-person ceremony will give graduates a chance to celebrate their accomplishment, no family or other guests will be allowed to attend the ceremony in person. There is an option to watch via Zoom, though pre-registration is required

Additionally, in alignment with New York State public health guidelines for physical distancing at large indoor gatherings that include unvaccinated individuals, there will be two identical ceremonies held for some 1,300 graduates in order to reduce density — one at 10 a.m. and another at 4 p.m.—in the Athletics and Events Center.

Both ceremonies will include, “a hybrid of creative in-person and virtual components so that every student who wishes to participate may do so.”

The ceremonies will be streamed live at and can be viewed in the Ithaca area on Spectrum cable channel 16.

For more information on the celebration of the Class of 2021, visit

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at