The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    SSU announces plans to host first in-person commencement ceremony since 2019

    Sonoma State University confirmed in an email on Friday, Feb. 11, that this year’s commencement ceremony would be held in-person on May 21 and 22.

    Out of the 23 California State University schools, 16 have already announced they will officially be hosting an in-person commencement ceremony..

    In the email, which was sent out to all eligible graduation participants, Vice President for University Advancement Co-Chair and Commencement Logistics Committee member, Mario A. Perez, along with Operations Director, Green Music Center Co-Chair, and fellow logistics committee member, Caroline Neyman, provided updated commencement ceremony information. 

    “Sonoma State continues to follow the guidelines set forth by the county and state public health offices. SSU’s Commencement ceremonies will be conducted in full adherence to the COVID safety protocols and recommendations of public health officials in May,” wrote Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communications, Julia Gonzalez, in an email. 

    The ceremonies will be held in the Green Music Center in accordance with all state and county COVID-19 guidelines at the time of the event meaning there will be limited seating indoors for attending family and friends. 

    The exact times and order of the ceremonies have yet to be finalized, however, the dates of each academic school’s commencement are as follows; 

    On May 21, commencement ceremonies for the schools of Business and Economics, Science and Technology, and Arts and Humanities will be held while ceremonies for the schools of Education and Social Sciences will be held the following day on May 22. The times for each ceremony are listed on SSU’s 2022 Commencement Ceremony webpage.  

    The annual grad fair will take place Feb. 23-34 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University Store.

    According to the commencement website, “Orders for academic regalia and other commemorative items for the Class of 2022 will begin February 23, 2022.”

    Students are eligible to participate in the 2022 Commencement ceremony if they graduated in Fall 2021, have applied for graduation in Spring 2022, or have applied for graduation in Summer 2022. 

    Last month, a survey was set out to all eligible graduation participants. “Approximately 33% of the Class of 2022 graduates responded, with the overwhelming majority preferring the traditional commencement ceremony held at the Green Music Center (GMC),” the email read. 

    Many graduating students are excited and relieved about this news following multiple semesters of untraditional ceremonies due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

    In 2020, the graduating class participated in a virtual commencement , while those graduating in 2021 utilized a drive-through ceremony. This allowed graduating students the opportunity to walk the stage and receive their diplomas while respecting COVID protocol.

    Caroline Evans, a 22-year-old Wine Business major, explained she was stressed not knowing what her graduation would look like as she entered the semester, but she’s happy following the commencement email. “If it’s going to be inside the GMC, the ceremony will be gorgeous and I am super stoked. I’m honestly just grateful to get a graduation,” Evans said. 

    Many students’ families are equally excited about the in-person ceremony. 

    Abby Reitman, a 22-year-old English Creative Writing major said, “I’m ecstatic that graduation is in person this year because my brother graduated college in 2020 online and I know how much that sucked for him. The rest of my family is very excited as well and already planning the trip up here to celebrate with me.” 

    One student was nearly brought to tears by the news that SSU would be hosting an in-person graduation. 

    Abé Lopez Ibarra, a 21-year-old Communications and Media Studies major is relieved at the commencement ceremony news. “Personally, I am super excited for an in person graduation. It’s all my family and I have been looking forward to for the last couple years. So being able to celebrate it with my family and friends is the best news I’ve heard in a while. I was struggling to hold back tears when I heard it was in person,” Lopez Ibarra said. 

    Any updated details surrounding SSU’s Spring 2022 commencement ceremony will be posted to the commencement website. 

    COURTESY// @sonomastateuniversity on Facebook

    Get your masks ready Seawolves: Spirits rise across campus at SSU confirms that this year’s Spring commencement ceremonies will be held in-person in the GMC.

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