Ball cap and gown? Fenway Park to host high school graduations

Throughout its storied history, Fenway Park has hosted football games, an outdoor NHL game, soccer games, the Harlem Globetrotters, concerts, an elephant party (in 1914) and even Franklin Roosevelt's final campaign speech in 1944. In recent months, it served as a vaccination site for COVID-19. Now it will host a series of high school graduations.

From June 7 to June 21, Fenway Park will serve as the venue for 15 of the 38 graduating classes across the Boston Public Schools system. The Red Sox offered Fenway to all 38 schools, but many had already secured other outdoor venues across the city and some of the smaller schools had secured other suitable venues.

"When we learned that so many of the Boston Public Schools were looking to find adequate outdoor spaces to hold their commencement ceremonies, we knew we could help," Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said in a statement. "Fenway Park is the perfect outdoor space in the heart of the city and large enough to host teachers, students, and their families in a safe manner. After such a challenging year, this important milestone is one that should be celebrated, and we are pleased to be able to offer our venue to help these seniors celebrate their achievements."

The Red Sox are home from June 8 through June 14. On those game days, the graduation ceremonies will be held in the morning, leaving time to clear the park for night games. Students and parents will sit in the outfield bleacher seats and up to four ceremonies a day will be held.

"I am so excited to celebrate our graduates in-person this year, at ceremonies across the city, alongside BPS families and staff," Boston Public Schools superintendent Brenda Cassellius said. "Our students have had an incredibly challenging junior and senior year, and yet they continue to persevere toward this important milestone in their life -- earning a high school diploma."