Commencement 2021




Regalia was due to arrive mid-April. We have just had news from the supplier, Herff-Jones, that the order will not arrive until the end of April.

Remote participants – we will ship your regalia  via DHL as soon as it arrives. If you have not yet confirmed your shipping address please do so now.

In-person participants – we will notify you when your regalia has arrived. You may schedule an appointment at that time to arrange to pick it up from the Records Office.


Each participant may invite two guests and these guests must be preregistered.  See COVID Guidelines for details on how to preregister.


We are in the process of preparing a Zoom rehearsal for all participants. This will be scheduled approximately one week prior Commencement. More details to come.

Graduation Photos

Our photographer will be shooting grad portraits during the afternoon leading up to the ceremony. You will need an appointment – details are provided in the COVID Guidelines. You will also receive an email directly from Sign-Up Genius with the appointment link.

Remote participants – as soon as your regalia arrives, we want you to gown up and take some photos and send them to us for use during the ceremony and as part of the composite group photo. Specs will be provided with your regalia.

Covid Protocols and In-person Commencement Instructions

Instructions will be distributed with the regalia and  reviewed during rehearsal.

Date & Time

Watch event online: TBA

Commencement in the time of COVID

Planning commencement during a pandemic is definitely a challenge. Our goal is to provide a safe and joyful event that complies with county and state requirements. We have developed the following guidelines based on California and County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health requirements as posted in Requirements For Outdoor Commencement Ceremony, 4/05/2021.

The Commencement Committee has worked hard to plan a safe and distanced commencement ceremony. We ask that you and your guests do your part to keep the event safe for everyone by complying with these guidelines. You will need to share the following information with your guests before they come to campus.

Preregistration is Required

County and state guidelines stipulate that all participants and their guests must preregister. If anyone arrives who is not on the registration list, we cannot allow them to attend. Therefore, we must have definite confirmation that you plan to attend. In addition, we must have the names of your two guests in advance.Your two guests must be from a household unit and will be seated together, non-distanced. Your guest allowance is for your use only and is NOT transferable. If you do not use both guest slots, they may NOT be shared with a classmate.

  • Persons who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 (e.g., due to age or underlying conditions) should be discouraged from attending.
  • Individuals who are sick or in isolation or quarantine must remain at home.
  • Guests travelling from out of state must be fully vaccinated.
How to preregister

To streamline the registration process we are using Sign-Up Genius, and have combined preregistration with scheduling your photo appointment. Scheduling your photo appointment will serve as your personal preregistration. You will also be asked to register your guests when you schedule your photo appointment. Please be sure to complete preregistration ASAP, and be ready to provide contact information for your guests as we are required to have contact information on file.

You will be receiving an email from Sign-Up Genius that includes the link to preregister, schedule your photo appointment, and register your guests. In case that does not arrive, preregister on Sign-UP Genuis.

Attending the Event

Self-Screen Prior To Coming To Campus

All attendees, participants and guests alike, are expected to complete UWest’s COVID screening on May 15, either before coming to campus or as soon as they arrive on campus. A link will be provided prior to Commencement day.

  • Any guest or participant who is feeling ill, has a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19, or has potentially been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, should NOT attend the commencement ceremony.
Mask Up & Socially Distance

All attendees must wear a mask at all times while on campus.

  • Students, you may take your mask off when you go up on stage, and put it back on when you return to your seat.
  • Speakers, you will take your mask off while presenting, but should don it again as soon as your presentation is over.

All attendees – guests and participants alike – must remain at least 6 feet apart from anyone not in their household group at all times while on campus.

Check In

All attendees must check in upon arrival. We are not allowed to admit anyone who has not preregistered. The ceremony will be held in the parking lot next to the ED building. Check in will be set up in the Founder’s Courtyard.

  • 2pm-5pm: Student photos by appointment
    • You should arrive at your scheduled time gowned and ready for photos.
    • If you arrive early, please wait in your car until a couple of minutes prior to your appointment.
    • No guests allowed. Only participants may be on campus at this time.
    • Complete your COVID screening before coming to campus or as soon you arrive on campus.
  • 5pm: Guest checkin opens
    • Guests should complete the COVID screening before coming to campus or as soon as arriving on campus.
    • Guests will be seated in household groups, distanced from other guests.
During the Event

Only the event area is open to guests and participants. The rest of the campus remains closed to any visitors, including students who do not reside on campus. Anyone arriving early should remain in their car until it is time to check in.

Guests will be seated as they check in. They are asked to remain at their seats for the duration of the event, except for visits to the restroom. Once the ceremony is over, they should remain at their seats until an usher indicates their row is clear to exit. Once their row has been released, they are asked to head straight to their cars and to exit the campus promptly.

Students, be sure to follow the directions of your conductor before, during, and after the ceremony. Please remember to socially distance at all times while on campus.

After the Event

Once the ceremony ends, you will exit the same way you came in (full instructions will be given at rehearsal). Head straight to your car and exit the campus promptly.
Guests will be released row by row and should also head directly to their cars.

While we commonly host a reception immediately following the ceremony, we are not able to do so this year. State and county guidelines expressly prohibit any type of post-ceremony gathering. Plan on leaving campus immediately after the ceremony. Please do not mingle on campus, however tempting it may be.