Spring 2021 Commencement: Plan for Limited In-Person Ceremonies

Mar 29, 2021

Humboldt State University is excited to announce that it will host a series of limited in-person Commencement ceremonies in Redwood Bowl on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15.

The events will be livestreamed, and links to the livestream will be available on the Commencement website and HSU homepage.

In order to host this event in-person for students while meeting state and county guidelines, HSU will not be able to allow spectators at the event.

Based on new state guidance and the results of a survey to students eligible to graduate, Commencement plans will look different from ceremonies in previous years. The ceremonies will balance health and safety, while maintaining some important traditions.

Some details:

Schedule: HSU is planning for three ceremonies each day—one per College on each day—on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. You’ll be able to choose which day to participate when you register, to the extent allowed by the attendance limit at each ceremony. Ceremonies will be held RAIN OR SHINE.

Registration: Graduates MUST register by April 21 to participate in Commencement. This is in addition to officially applying for graduation. To comply with safety protocols and county public health guidelines, registration is required to enter Redwood Bowl. More information on how to register will be sent within the next week.

There are backup plans for a virtual ceremony if HSU needs to change its in-person plans based on the status of the pandemic. There will be a single registration that covers planned in-person events and, if necessary, a virtual event.

• No Guests: While family and friends are an important part of students’ celebration plans, participation will be limited to students, faculty, and the staff running the event (details below). It’s important to follow guidelines to reduce risk by limiting the number of people in Redwood Bowl.

• Faculty: Faculty are encouraged to be part of the celebrations and support students at Commencement. Registration details to participate in Commencement ceremonies are coming soon.

• Staff: The number of support staff working Commencement will be limited. Anyone interested in helping to support Commencement should talk to their supervisor and contact grad@humboldt.edu.

• Watch Commencement: Ceremonies will be livestreamed so that families, friends, and the campus community can watch and celebrate your big moment. There will be a link on humboldt.edu the days of the events. A video recording will be available online after the ceremony, and can be downloaded for free from the commencement.humboldt.edu in the weeks following.

• Health Requirements: Depending on state and county guidelines, there may be requirements involving quarantine, testing, or vaccination. More details to come.

• Related Events: No other events related to commencement will be held face-to-face, including any cultural graduation celebrations and department receptions. All of these events related to commencement, if scheduled, will be virtual only. More information will be shared in coming weeks.

• Regalia and Memorabilia: Caps, rental gowns, tassels, hoods, and more are now available to order on the Humboldt State Herff Jones website. Orders will be shipped directly to students, and return shipping for the rental gowns is included in the shipping fee of $12.95.

• Photos: GradImages photographers will be on hand to capture official graduation portraits. After the ceremony, students will be sent a link to preview their images, and there is no obligation to purchase photos.

The safety of our Lumberjack community and their families is a priority. All plans depend on approval by state and county public health officials and are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic.

When it’s safe to hold a traditional Commencement ceremony with families at HSU again, all alumni—whether they walk in Commencement this year, graduated last year, or several years ago—are welcome to return for Commencement in Redwood Bowl.

For questions about Commencement ceremonies or student registration, contact Commencement coordinators Kristen Gould and Stephanie Lane at grad@humboldt.edu.

For questions about faculty participation, contact:
• College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences—Shannon Collart, shannon.collart@humboldt.edu
• College of Professional Studies—Kevin Colando, kmc10@humboldt.edu
• College of Natural Resources & Sciences (and Provost’s Office)—Lauren Lynch, lsr4@humboldt.edu

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as details are being finalized. More information will be sent to students soon, and we can’t wait to help celebrate all their accomplishments!