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CSUN Plans Virtual Graduation Ceremony, Car Parade

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Even though many schools are opting for socially distanced graduations, CSUN says it has too many students to do that safely.

Cal State Northridge announced Friday that it is planning virtual graduation ceremonies. An all-university graduation will take place on May 15, which will be followed by a series of smaller ceremonies for individual colleges that will announce each student by name, along with a photo.

On May 25, CSUN will host a series of in-person car parades to celebrate its graduates.

Vice President of Student Affairs William Watkins said that even though the county is now in the more lenient orange tier, the university still has too many students for a safe in-person event.

“The entire university community regrets that the pandemic has made it necessary to alter our normal commencement ceremonies,” Watkins said. “It’s our hope that the current plans affirm our commitment to honor and celebrate our graduates to the fullest extent possible. We are humbled and inspired by their example of resilience and their capacity to excel under any circumstances.”

“In light of the Tier 3 guidelines – and absent access to a large stadium or similar venue in the San Fernando Valley – we had to explore other options that would provide the graduates an engaging, safe, and celebratory experience possible,” he continued.

The virtual commencement ceremonies will feature a mix of live and pre-recorded content, like speeches, awards, and an official welcome to the Alumni Association.

The in-car commencement parades will take place May 25-28. During the parades, graduates will drive slowly around campus in their cars while they are cheered on by socially distanced university officials and employees. They will also receive a grad box containing a souvenir commencement program, pennant, license plate frame, and tassel. Graduates must register in advance to participate.

University officials have also said they will include an in-person class of 2021 graduation ceremony in 2022 or 2023 for graduates who wish to wait until that’s possible.

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