UC Berkeley to hold in-person graduation for class of 2020 in August

UC Berkeley will hold in-person graduation for the class of 2020 at the Greek Theatre Aug. 29.

Fifteen months after UC Berkeley canceled in-person graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic last May, Chancellor Carol Christ invited graduates back on campus for a belated celebration.

Come August, alumni from the class of 2020 will walk across a stage and receive a symbolic diploma, offering a sense of closure after a year of upheaval.

“We hope this opportunity will help bring closure to our graduates and give them the recognition they deserve for overcoming extraordinary challenges and graduating during a pandemic,” Amy Cranch, communications director for the commencement, wrote in an email to Berkeleyside.

Graduates will be able to register for one of two ceremonies in the morning or evening on a first-come, first-serve basis. Graduates will likely receive three guest tickets, according to Cranch, but the exact number has yet to be finalized. The ceremony will be live-streamed for graduates who cannot or choose not to attend.

The university expects approximately about a fourth of the undergraduate and graduate alumni from the class of 2020 to attend the two ceremonies. Should more want to attend, additional ceremonies can be added. The university will know more about the number of students attending July 9.

Last year, students from the class of 2020 organized a Minecraft graduation in lieu of an in-person one, featuring remarks from the Chancellor and other keynote speakers.

Graduation for the class of 2021 was held in a limited capacity in person May 16-20. Students walked across the stage of the Greek Theatre over the course of five days to allow for social distancing, with no family members or friends in the audience to cheer them on. The university has not announced any additional commencement plans for the class of 2021.

Other UC schools, such as UCLA, have also announced ‘make-up’ in person graduations for the class of 2020 this fall.