Grads Can Celebrate In Person This June

Students in grad caps and face coverings pose for a photo.
Students who participate in the in-person commencement processionals must wear face coverings during the event, although they can remove them temporarily for a photo while on stage. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

UC Davis will hold a series of limited-scale, in-person commencement ceremonies this June, Chancellor Gary S. May announced Friday (April 16).

“So much has happened over the past 13 months, and you all have truly shown a new definition of Aggie Pride in the way you have responded,” May said. “We must continue to be vigilant and cautious, but I hope these commencement events will provide a small relief and prove that the light at the end of the tunnel is indeed getting brighter.”


The ceremonies, each limited to 300 students, will be held June 10-13. Each student can bring two guests, and the event will be livestreamed online for others to watch. All guests must bring a completed COVID-19 vaccination card to the event, while students will have the option of showing proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result for COVID-19 from the previous 72 hours. Any student traveling from outside California must show proof of vaccination.

The event will have the graduates and their guests traveling between different stations, stopping to celebrate and snap photos along the way. The festivities will begin at the Pavilion Parking Structure, and the groups — each spread at least 6 feet from other groups of students and guests — will travel through a tent to a number of photo backdrops. From there, they’ll travel to the main stage, where students will receive a ceremonial scroll representing their future diplomas. They won’t shake hands with anyone, but they will have their names read aloud for a group of campus leaders who will be in attendance.

From there, the new alumni are off to a tent organized by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association where they can celebrate their new status and get information about a free gift, redeemable at a future date.

Attendees will be asked not to linger in the area so that it can be prepared for the next group.

The size restrictions mean students who graduated in spring 2020 cannot participate in the event, although anyone who has graduated or expects to graduate between September 2020 and September 2021 can. Undergraduate and academic graduate students can participate — the university’s professional schools are forming plans for other methods of recognizing their students — and they will receive additional details by email this week.

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Cody Kitaura is a News and Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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