After consulting with local public health officials and student leaders, Southwestern College is canceling a planned in-person commencement ceremony for December and instead is planning summer celebrations.
The college had surveyed students earlier this spring. Overwhelmingly students responded that an in-person ceremony was extremely important to them and their families. A majority of students responded they were willing to postpone a ceremony until the winter, if it could be held in person. As stay-at-home orders continue, and with large mass gatherings being among the last events that will be allowed to take place under current health orders, college leaders and students began reimagining commencement celebrations.
“We will celebrate our 2020 Jaguars by making history in a unique way,” Dr. Tina King, interim assistant superintendent/vice president for student affairs, wrote in an email to students last week. “College leaders have identified alternative celebrations for this year’s commencement, and we will not disappoint you all.”
The college will distribute mortarboards, tassels and a commemorative pin during a special drive-through distribution on Thursday, June 18. Graduates will be encouraged to decorate them and wear them during a drive-through, live-streamed car parade on Friday, July 17.
The festivities will conclude in a virtual commencement ceremony on Friday, July 17.
Students wishing to participate in any of the festivities must register for the events on the 2020 Commencement Registration Form. Students must fill out the form while signed into the MySWC portal. The deadline to register for the activities is Friday, June 5.
Times, locations and further updates for the activities will be posted on the college’s Commencement webpage: www.swccd.edu/commencement.