Information for the Class of 2020

February 18, 2022

Hello Pitzer College Class of 2020!

We hope you are well!

Pitzer is looking forward to CELEBRATING you and your many accomplishments this May!  We recognize that it has been nearly two years (!!) since you’ve been here on campus and we hope that many of you will be able to join us on Saturday, May 21 at 10 am for your long awaited Commencement ceremony.  The ceremony will also be streamed online that morning.  The ceremony will include all of the known and loved traditional aspects – regalia, featured speakers, Pomp & Circumstance etc. 

A celebratory party the evening of May 21 is also in the works!

Members of the Class of 2020 will be limited to two(2) guests and guests will be required to provide proof of full Covid-19 vaccination (including booster) or Negative PCR Test prior to attending the ceremony on May 21.  Additional details about these requirements and the process will be sent to you later this spring.

The Commencement guest policy was determined with Senior leadership, Pitzer’s Covid-19 Task Force, our medical providers, and guidance from Los Angeles County’s Institutes of Higher Education Sector. We continue to evaluate and monitor guidance, our case numbers, and the impact to our greater community related to COVID-19. 

We plan to re-evaluate the guest policy after spring break once we have completed our testing regimen and received the anticipated commencement guidance from Los Angeles County’s Institutes of Higher Education Sector. We thank you for your patience as we strive to ensure a safe and memorable experience for all.

If you would like to participate in the ceremony on May 21, there is ONE important thing that you must do.  Please complete this PARTICIPANT FORM as soon as possible and no later than Friday, March 25.

Please feel free to email Katie Tewell ([email protected]) with any questions or concerns.

We hope that many of you will return to Claremont to honor your tremendous achievements and celebrate together! 

All our best,

2020 Commencement Planning Committee

An Update from the Office of Student Affairs about Commencement for the Class of 2020

August 16, 2021

Dear Class of 2020, 

We have an exciting update surrounding your Commencement!  

The planning committee is very happy to announce that Pitzer College is welcoming Class of 2020 graduates and their families back to campus on May 21, 2022, for an in-person graduation ceremony and activities!

SAVE THE DATE! We look forward to watching you all cross the Commencement stage! It should be a celebratory atmosphere across the consortium as both Scripps College and Pomona College are planning Class of 2020 celebrations that weekend as well. 

There are many details the committee is working through and we will begin communicating more as plans solidify. To help encourage attendance and assist with financial obstacles for a campus return, the College will make support available for those with demonstrated need. More details about this support will be provided when registration opens.

We welcome feedback as we begin to plan the finer details.  

If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please feel free to send them to [email protected]

All the best,   

2020 Commencement Planning Committee

March 15, 2021

Dear Class of 2020,

Hello from Claremont CA, where, yes, it actually rained recently! I truly hope this message finds you navigating these times well and discovering many silver linings in spite of the challenges we are all facing. In my last letter to you, I indicated that we would make a decision on your Commencement Ceremony by March 15th.  So I write to let you know how we plan to proceed.

I am sure most of you have been following how we are doing in Los Angeles County and see that while significant progress has been made with the health metrics here, we are still not yet allowed to host a large public event. In a recent conference call with public health officials, it was also not yet clear when that circumstance would change but we do know it will not be in the immediate future and when it does, there will be limits on how many can attend and out-of-state guests would not be allowed.

As a result, we have decided to not plan for an in-person Commencement Ceremony for you in May. We realize this will again be a disappointment for you, your family, and your friends and we are sorry to have to make this decision. It is a great disappointment to us as well and frustrating that the pandemic has again intruded on our lives.  We continue to be guided by the feedback you all provided last semester which clearly indicated your preference to wait to have an in-person ceremony rather than a more immediate remote one. 

We hold out hope and have confidence that as we get into the new academic year, the public health situation will be much improved and it will become more than feasible to hold your ceremony in the upcoming year. Of course, that cannot be guaranteed but especially as the vaccination rollout continues, we become more hopeful of our ability to see you in-person walk across the graduation stage on our Pitzer campus in the not-too-distant future. Look for an update later this spring or early summer and opportunities to provide us with ideas and feedback for your ceremony. Until then, if you have any questions or thoughts to share, please feel free to send them to [email protected].

As you know, I am completing my service to Pitzer in May, however, I have promised your class leadership that I will return to campus for your ceremony so this is not yet good-bye but, rather, see you soon!

Take Care,

Mike Segawa

A Message from the Office of Student Affairs about Commencement for the Class of 2020

December 18, 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

Many thanks for the very quick responses so many of you have sent in just a couple of days after our initial email. To date, your sentiments are clear: you are willing to wait beyond this spring, if necessary, for an in-person celebration of your graduation. Close to 80% voted for this preference, approximately 13% voted for an on-line ceremony this spring, and about 8% expressed no preference.

Given this strong sentiment, the planning committee will focus our efforts on an in-person graduation ceremony for this spring. Should we not have the ability due to public health constraints to hold the celebration then, we will shift our efforts to the soonest possible timeframe after May to have your special day. As we shared in our previous message, we anticipate making a decision about a ceremony by March 15, 2021.

Again, thank you for sending your responses and for your patience with the process we are having to navigate to reach decisions about your Commencement celebration. We truly look forward to seeing you for that day and in the meantime, wish you and your families a most joyous and restful holiday season.


Matt Brunstand ‘20
Class of 2020 Representative

Mike Segawa
VP for Student Affairs

A Message from President Oliver about Commencement

March 27, 2020

Dear Pitzer Students,

I know you have been adjusting to your new surroundings as we prepare for the resumption of classes on Monday. Your faculty have been working extremely hard to transition their work to the virtual environment during these last two weeks. That hard work has been inspiring and I am so proud of our entire community for making the best of this unprecedented circumstance. I hope that this extended spring break has given you the time not only to adjust to this new environment but to recharge and refocus on the challenges that are before us.

Regrettably, I also write to inform you that we will be postponing our regular spring commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. In light of the need for social distancing and the risks associated with large gatherings like commencement, postponement is a necessary preventative action. [Read full message]