Alissa Portillo
Staff Writer

As we get closer to the end of the semester graduating seniors await the moment they have anticipated for the past four years— walking across the stage at commencement. This is the first time in the past two years that Whittier College will host an in-person ceremony. Although both classes from 2020 and 2021 were eventually allowed to rejoin together in 2021 at Whittier College for an in-person graduation ceremony, the impact this had on needing to adapt to virtual and in-person ceremonies will be transmitted for future ceremonies.

This year commencement will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 6:30 p.m at WC’s memorial stadium. With the relaxation of COVID-19 protocols, the ceremony is open for anyone who wishes to join. This means that graduating seniors will not be required to purchase limited tickets for family and friends. Though, certain guidelines are still in place — such as masking, vaccination status requirements,and testing. 

Nevertheless, the seating is first-come-first-serve for all guests who are seeking to attend the graduating class. Whittier College’s website, reads: “The academic procession of graduating students, faculty, College officers, and members of the Board of Trustees will begin promptly at 6:25 p.m. Students should plan to be in the baseball field no later than 5:15 p.m. Guests are advised to arrive no later than 6:00 p.m. as well —earlier is better.”

Since the ceremony will be taking place outside at Memorial Stadium, guests should be cautious of any change in weather during the evening. So, it is recommended that guests bring a jacket to the event.  Also guests should bring any cushions for one’s seating while sitting on the bleachers of the stadium. However, should it rain on the day of Commencement, then the ceremony will be moved to Graham Athletics center—subjected to limited seating.

In regards to parking accommodations, lots that will be open for parking for guests are at the Campus Center, Science Learning Center, and Amphitheater parking lots. Only guests who  need disabled or VIP parking are allowed to use the parking in the Athletic Center and Memorial Stadium. This means that many guests may be needing to walk up the hill toward the Memorial Stadium. Guests and students who seek to wear heels, booties, and platform shoes, should keep this information in mind when choosing their shoe attire.

Most graduating students have already completed parts of the checklist designed for graduation preparation. But, to go over briefly, graduating seniors were supposed to initially apply for graduation through their mywhittier portal, then proceed to use this portal to check their DegreeWorks worksheet demonstrating the status of their classes and degree. Should a graduating student have questions about their progress, they may seek assistance from their advisor(s) or the Registrar’s Office. Next, seniors would have to complete a Participation form, which— ideally —says a student agrees to participate in the Commencement ceremony and Cultural celebrations (i.e. Latinx, APIDA, Black Student Association, and Lavender). The Participation form was supposed to be submitted by April 1, 2022. Lastly, graduating seniors should have ordered their cap and gown through the Campus Bookstore. If there are any questions regarding the Cap and Gown purchases, seniors may reach the Bookstore directly at 562.907.4251.

Last but not least, to celebrate the graduating seniors, Whittier College offers a preferred flower vendor for Commencement, which is known as The Commencement Group. Flowers can be preordered ahead of time by family, friends, and graduates, and can be picked up outside the Memorial Stadium prior to the beginning of the Commencement ceremony. Most flower arrangements cost around $50.

The College hopes to make the day of graduation go as smoothly as possible and in order to do this seniors should come prepared for any and all inconviences that may arise. Should any seniors or families have any further questions regarding Commencement seating and parking accommodations they may reach out to Jessica Aparicio at or directly at 562.907.4211 to reserve seats and/or parking spaces by April 29.


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