Commencement 2020

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

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

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]