After two years of tassels unturned, Whittier College will be hosting a combined graduation ceremony for the classes of 2020 and 2021 at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24. A total of 295 graduates from both classes signed up for the graduation ceremony. It will take place in the Memorial Stadium, and seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Current students are welcome to come and celebrate their peers, and there is no limit to the number of guests a graduate can bring.
The graduation ceremony is expected to impact parking for residential and commuter students. Parking for guests will be available in the Campus Center, Science & Learning Center, Amphitheater, Athletic Center, and Canyon parking lots. The Memorial Stadium parking lot will be reserved for disabled parking, according to an email sent to graduates. According to an email sent to graduates, Earlham Drive will be closed to general traffic at Guilford Way.
In the spirit of public health, guests are expected to wear masks and are encouraged to maintain social distance. To further promote health and safety on campus, guests and graduates (as well as current students) are expected to fill out a health screening form on the day of the event before arriving on campus. All attendees and graduates will be expected to show a confirmation email showing they submitted the form. By 5:30 p.m., graduates are asked to report to the baseball field. The College is not encouraging graduates to wander elsewhere on campus such as for pictures. GradImages will email proofs of photographs of graduates receiving their diploma as they walk off campus to students who provided the College with their email addresses. The graduation is expected to end at 9 p.m.
The ceremony will consist of President Linda Oubré’s recitation of the official Charge to the Class and a commencement address from the chair of the Board of Trustees. Additionally, there will be two student speakers — one from each graduating class — who applied and were selected during their respective years of graduation. Noah Humphrey will represent the class of 2020, and Bianca Zermeno is representing the class of 2021.
The class of 2020 previously only had a virtual ceremony while the class of 2021 also had a limited in-person celebration where only two guests per graduate could attend. This is the College’s first full in-person graduation commencement since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this combined commencement still is operating under unique circumstances, it is the first chance for the College to celebrate and recognize the achievements of both classes in-person.