Important Commencement Update


Recent developments have made it possible for the College to expand the scope of this year’s Commencement, with each graduating student permitted to bring two guests.

Dear Oxy Community,

I am very pleased to announce that recent developments have made it possible for the College to expand the scope of this year’s Commencement, with each graduating student permitted to bring two guests. When we announced on March 19 the decision to hold an in-person, student-only Commencement, we left open the potential to include guests should conditions improve. Los Angeles County’s move from the red tier to the less restrictive orange tier earlier this week, and updated federal CDC guidance on domestic travel for vaccinated individuals factored significantly into our decision. Equally important is the feedback we’ve heard from students and families. Families are not only an extended part of the Oxy community, they have been an integral part of students’ academic journey. We are thrilled to be able to take this important step.

In order to accommodate all graduating seniors and guests in a manner consistent with applicable health and safety guidelines, we will be moving the outdoor ceremony from its traditional location in Hillside Theater to Kemp Stadium. All attendees will be required to wear masks and all seating will be socially distanced.

As we continue to work out all the logistics involved, students and families should keep an eye out for updates on this website. You can also expect to receive direct communications from Commencement Coordinator Laura Crescenzo. Here are some important points to note now:

  • The ceremony will still be livestreamed for those family members unable to attend.
  • We have updated the website with information about financial support for students travelling from out of town.
  • For students and guests seeking local accommodations, the College has secured Oxy-specific discounts at local hotels. As previously shared, campus housing still remains unavailable to students. Should any campus housing become available, we will provide an update.
  • Guest bracelets—our equivalent of tickets—are non-transferrable.

It is essential for everyone to keep in mind that the pandemic is not over, and conditions can change. We will continue to monitor public health guidelines and adjust our plans accordingly. We don’t plan on expanding the number of attendees beyond two guests per student. However, should conditions in LA County take a turn for the worse, we may be required to revert to a student-only ceremony or make the event entirely virtual.

I am grateful to Oxy staff, whose tireless efforts and selfless dedication to our students will make this possible. Changing venues just five weeks prior to the event requires reimagining how we put on such a meaningful program, and I'm proud of the enthusiasm with which staff in every department has embraced this opportunity.

Very best,
President Elam