Commencement Update, Class of 2021

March 15, 2021

Dear Class of 2021,

We hope this message finds you well and continuing to find healthy ways to navigate these extraordinary times. The past year has certainly tested us all. This isn’t how any of us imagined your last semester at Pitzer unfolding but we hope that your spring semester has been a positive one.

The scope of the pandemic has changed drastically since we departed campus last March. Since then the Commencement committee has held several meetings and the plans for Commencement have evolved almost weekly. We write now to share our most recent thoughts on celebrating your Commencement. 

While most of the health metrics in Los Angeles County and our country are headed in a healthier direction, they are still above the standards needed to hold a large public gathering. We still remain in a precarious public health environment. We are also very aware that you and your families need as much advance notice as we can responsibly provide.

With all this in mind we have decided, much to our deep disappointment, that holding an in-person Commencement ceremony on May 15th is not in the best interest of the health and safety of our community and the surrounding area. Even the most optimistic health metrics forecasts would severely limit the kind of in-person ceremony we could hold (less than full capacity and no out-of-state guests).

We will now shift our energies to the creation of a thoughtful, touching, and uplifting virtual ceremony to be held on May 15th. There will be pomp and circumstance as well as a good dose of fun! This is the preferred plan for over 67% of the class who participated in our recent poll.

We remain committed to providing an in-person gathering of the Class of 2021 sometime in the not-too-distant future but we want to be sure that we acknowledge your accomplishments at the end of this semester. Your journey to graduation has been incredibly challenging and you have had to forego or delay too many traditions in your senior year. We did not want to delay the most meaningful tradition, your Commencement ceremony.

Sometime in the next couple of weeks, we will be providing you with more details on this virtual event. In the meantime, if you have any specific suggestions, questions or concerns, please email [email protected]. Information for the class of 2021 is also available at

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we plan to celebrate your achievements. As with all things pandemic, this is an unprecedented challenge we are tackling but we remain excited and hopeful about the possibilities for recognizing our (almost!) Pitzer graduates. 

Best Wishes,
Mike Segawa
Chair, Commencement Planning Committee