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Seaver College May 2021 Commencement Updates

April 26, 2021

Seaver College is communicating its final decisions regarding the May 2021 commencement ceremonies as promised in my April 12 message to the Seaver community and in the April 13 messages to the graduating Classes of 2020 and 2021.

Decision

New guidance issued on Thursday, April 22, by the State of California and affirmed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health expands the parameters for participation in commencement ceremonies. Specifically, Pepperdine students who were required to travel outside of California due to the COVID-19 pandemic are considered in-state residents for the purposes of participation in commencement ceremonies, and they are not subject to current restrictions and limitations on non-California residents. With this modification, all graduates in both the Classes of 2020 and 2021 are eligible to return to Malibu for their commencement ceremony. Consequently, Seaver College is pleased to announce that both the May 21 commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 and the May 22 commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 will proceed.

Commencement Ceremonies

The dates and times of each ceremony are listed below.

Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony
Date: Friday, May 21, 2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Alumni Park
Website

Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony
Date: Saturday, May 22, 2021
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: Alumni Park
Website

Guests

Each graduate will be granted two tickets for guests (See Ticketing below). If seating remains available after the initial allocation of tickets, details to request additional tickets will be posted on the commencement websites.

Guest attendance is limited by regulations set forth by the State of California and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

  • California residents are eligible to attend the commencement ceremonies.
  • Guests who reside outside of California are required to be fully vaccinated in order to attend the ceremonies. For the purposes of this guidance, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (CDC).
  • In addition to complying with the requirement to be fully vaccinated, students residing internationally should submit a travel permission to the Office of International Student Services for further guidance.

In accordance with state and country directives, all guests age 16 and older will be required to present a state-issued identification (e.g., driver's license or similar) that indicates their state of residence in order to gain entry to the commencement ceremony. All guests who are not residents of California will be required to present a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card evidencing their fully vaccinated status.

All seating will be in bleachers. Guests will be seated in household groups with six feet of physical distance between each group. Guests must proceed to their seats upon arrival and remain seated for the duration of the ceremony.

Safety

All who attend the ceremonies—graduates, faculty, staff, guests, and others—must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times. Attendees must maintain appropriate physical distancing between attendees not from their household.

Live Stream

Both commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed for guests who are unable to attend. The URL for the live stream will be provided on the commencement websites.

Ticketing

Ticketing details will be provided as soon as possible and no later than May 7. All ticketing information, including the link to the ticketing website, will be available on each commencement website.

During the ticketing process, all guests will be required to indicate their state of residency and vaccination status.

Tickets will be emailed to the graduate for distribution to their guest(s). Graduates will have the ability to forward the tickets to all guests. At the ceremony site, guests will be required to present either a printed hard copy ticket or display the ticket on their phone. Attendees who do not receive their ticket are encouraged to contact their graduate.

Regalia

Graduation regalia must be picked up by the graduate in advance of each commencement ceremony. The location and timing information will be provided no later than May 7. The regalia will include the Pepperdine custom cap, gown, and tassel. Cap and gown rentals will be provided by the college for all students participating in commencement ceremonies. Stoles will be available for purchase during regalia distribution. Gowns, as well as hoods for Master's students, must be returned at the conclusion of the ceremony at the designated drop off location.

Graduates who do not participate in commencement ceremonies may rent a cap and gown directly from Herff Jones to have them home shipped. Due to a limited supply of gowns, delayed shipping, and COVID-19 cleaning protocols, regalia rentals may take several weeks to arrive.

Student Speakers

Graduates interested in delivering the student commencement address or leading the Pledge of Allegiance at their commencement ceremony are encouraged to review the information and submit an application. The deadline to submit an application is May 3.

Future Updates

Graduates and their families are encouraged to frequently check their commencement ceremony website, which will continue to provide the most updated information. Graduates in both classes can expect an email with updated RSVP information for their respective commencement ceremony later this week. Graduates are advised to check their Pepperdine email daily for messages related to the commencement ceremonies.

Unable to Participate

The names of all graduates will be read during their upcoming commencement ceremonies.

All graduates precluded from participating in their commencement ceremony will be eligible to participate in the Seaver College commencement ceremony in 2022.

Class of 2021 Graduation Events

As was provided for the Class of 2020, the University will offer other programming during the May commencement weekend to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021. A virtual Loqui celebration will be held on Thursday, May 20, at 6 PM. Full details on the program and graduate participation may be found on the Loqui website. On Friday, May 21, President Gash will deliver a virtual commissioning prayer and message to all graduates. Graduates in both classes are welcome to view the commissioning ceremony. Additional details for all commencement-related programming will be posted on the graduation websites.

Closing

I am very pleased that Pepperdine has been granted the opportunity to demonstrate its readiness and provide commencement ceremonies to graduates in the Classes of 2020 and 2021. I share the excitement of all graduates who will participate in the ceremonies, and I look forward to celebrating your accomplishments in a few short weeks. It will be great to be reunited with you in Malibu.

In a similar vein, I share the disappointment of those graduates who are unable to participate in their upcoming commencement ceremony. You will be in our hearts and minds on the day of the ceremony, and I look forward to welcoming you back to alma mater in the very near future.

To all graduates and their families, I wish you the very best and pray God's blessings upon you.