Pacific to hold remote graduation ceremonies in May, in-person commencements in October

Dear Pacific students,

The most special day of each year at University of the Pacific is Graduation Day, a celebration of our inspiring students who dedicate themselves to knowledge and learning in pursuit of their dreams. Graduating students—along with mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, spouses, partners, neighbors and friends—anticipate this special day for years.

Our faculty and staff look forward to commencement with equal joy, joining the celebration of the students who have become such an important part of their lives.

That is why we wanted to wait until two months before this year’s scheduled graduation celebrations before deciding on whether we could safely come together while still giving graduates and their loved ones enough planning time. While COVID-19 conditions are steadily improving in our home counties, large-scale gatherings are still prohibited. Therefore, we are announcing that—as we had to do last year—we will not hold our traditional May graduation ceremonies in person (the Dugoni School of Dentistry commencement is scheduled for June, so we will wait until next month before a decision for the San Francisco campus). This decision, while difficult, is the right one for the health of all Pacificans and aligns with county regulations and decisions made by universities from Harvard University in the East to Stanford University in the West and hundreds in between. Nearly all of the major universities local to our campuses have made the same decision because of COVID-19, including UC Davis, UC Merced, Stanislaus State, UC Berkeley, University of San Francisco, UC San Francisco and San Francisco State.

Nevertheless, given the importance of graduation celebrations to our students, families and university community, we are busy working on two different sets of commencement ceremonies so we can properly recognize and celebrate our graduating students.

First, we will hold real-time remote commencement ceremonies on the same days as originally scheduled—May 8 for College of the Pacific, Benerd College, Eberhardt School of Business, Conservatory of Music and School of Engineering and Computer Science; May 15 for the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and the School of Health Sciences; and May 22 for the McGeorge School of Law. Times will be announced shortly.

While these will not be the same as our physical gatherings, our creative team at Pacific is working hard to make these real-time remote celebrations meaningful and engaging for our graduating students, families, faculty and staff. You will be hearing more about those in the days and weeks to come.

Second, we will be announcing new, in-person graduation ceremonies for the Sunday of Homecoming & Family Weekend (Oct. 10), following our Friday and Saturday events. The Sunday commencements will have the same pomp and circumstance as our traditional May ceremonies. We hope the Class of 2021, as well as the Class of 2020, who also missed out on their in-person graduation ceremonies, will join us for that celebration (times and locations to be announced later this spring).

We look forward to celebrating with our graduating students both in May at our virtual ceremonies and again in October in person.

Thank you for your continued hard work and perseverance in the pursuit of your education. You inspire us each and every day.



Christopher Callahan