Commencement Update

As we continue to navigate the fluid and ever-changing COVID-19 situation, we wanted to let you know we continue to look ahead and plan a time to appropriately celebrate all our 2020 graduates.


As we communicated several months ago, our May and December graduates would all be honored this December. After much deliberation and consultation with local public health agencies we know a large corporate gathering is still not recommended or deemed wise given our county’s current status related to COVID-19. Though the state has promoted Fresno County to a slightly lower risk tier, we do not know what tier or what restrictions may be in place come December. Still, out of a deep desire to honor each graduate and their achievements, we are moving forward to make plans we can commit to and execute meaningfully.


Here is what we do know and how we are planning to move forward for May and December graduates:


  • The university will be providing the opportunity for each graduate to participate in an individual commencement celebration. 


  • Graduates may bring a small group (up to 8 people) with them to mark this important moment and commemorate the hard work that went into achieving their degree.


  • Beginning this week, students will receive further information and details from the Registrar’s Office. Most important, they will receive a link to a form they will need to complete to let us know if they wish to participate or not in an individual ceremony. Once the deadline to submit the form has passed, students who complete the form will be emailed more information about signing up for a specific day and timeslot. Each program/major will have its own timeframe set aside for individuals to sign up within. 


  • We will host these individual celebrations over a three to four-day period beginning on Friday, December 11, and continuing through December 15 if needed, with no ceremonies on Sunday, December 13. 


  • Celebrations will be hosted at:
    • Our Visalia regional campus for graduates of all programs held at either the Visalia or Bakersfield campuses.
    • Our main campus for graduates of
      • TUG programs
      • Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary
      • Other graduate programs based on the main campus
      • North Fresno regional campus
      • Merced regional campus
      • Fully online programs


While these individual in-person ceremonies will feel different than the larger corporate commencement celebration we have grown accustomed to, I am confident there is still great meaning in these moments of celebration. Please know all these decisions continue to be made with much deliberation, relying on expert advice from local public health agencies. Our primary concern is and will continue to be the safety of our students and employees. We look forward to honoring each of you and all your hard work and accomplishments. We are deeply grateful for our community’s resilience in the face of adversity, and we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate our graduates.