On Sunday, May 19, 456 graduates and a crowd of 3,800 proud family members and friends gathered for Occidental’s 2019 Commencement ceremony at 8:45 a.m. in the outdoor Remsen Bird Hillside Theater.
Faculty and administrators assembled at 8 a.m. in front of Newcomb Hall, forming a double line down Gilman Road through which degree candidates marched toward the theater. At the ceremony, attendees were addressed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Read his full remarks.
Garcetti was one of four honorary degree recipients this year. Also receiving honorary degrees were longtime trustee John Power ’58, retired partner of the Los Angeles law firm of O’Melveny & Myers; Lula Ballton, CEO emeritus of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation; and Lande Ajose ’87, senior policy adviser for higher education for California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Baccalaureate, a multi-faith celebration led this year by Dr. Varun Soni, took place on Saturday, May 18 in Herrick Memorial Chapel. Cultural graduation celebrations took place in various campus locations on Friday and Saturday.
As you begin to make your plans for attending Occidental College's 2019 Commencement ceremonies, I would like to share some important information with you. The enclosed schedule of events and listing of practical information should help facilitate your arrangements for this momentous occasion in the life of your student and your family.
This page is for the families of all students who in the ordinary course of events would qualify for graduation on Sunday, May 19. I urge you to keep in close touch with your student during the coming months concerning his or her academic progress since the College catalog states that all graduation requirements must be fulfilled before a student can participate in the Commencement exercises.
This year's Commencement exercises will begin in Hillside Theater, rain or shine, with the processional at 8:45 a.m. for Commencement to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 19. I hope that you will plan to attend the other events during Commencement week as well, including Baccalaureate and the President's brunch for graduates and their families.
Seating inside Hillside Theater is limited. Each student will be given wristbands for seven guests at the Commencement ceremony. No one will be allowed in the theater without a wristband. Please be in touch with your student about wristbands. Wristbands are not required for other events during Commencement weekend, but reservations are needed for some events. Please see the schedule of events for details.
In addition, Commencement will be livestreamed to Choi Auditorium on campus (and also livestreamed online on the Oxy.edu homepage). Watching Commencement in Choi is an indoor, air-conditioned auditorium and is a great option for family members who are sensitive to rain or heat, families with young children and family members with limited mobility. Wristbands are not required to view the livestream. Please note that seating in the Choi Auditorium is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I hope you and the members of your family will be able to join us in sharing the pride and satisfaction that Commencement brings to us -- the students, faculty, trustees, administration, staff, and all who are associated with Occidental College.
Assistant Director of Events for the President, Office of the President