Commencement Update, 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 [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
VP for Student Affairs