Pomona To Invite Graduated Seniors To Campus To Reconnect After Pandemic

Earlier today, Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr announced that graduated seniors from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will be invited back to campus in the spring of 2022 “to reconnect as a community, celebrate their time at Pomona and look to the future.” Starr also confirmed that, for the class of 2021, the “signposts of the spring semester for seniors will carry on in virtual form, starting with a senior toast tomorrow (March 17) from President Starr and culminating in a virtual Commencement.”

In her email, Starr stated that the class of 2021 has sought for the administration “to provide ’20 and ’21 graduates with the chance to gather in person and connect back on campus.” According to Starr, “[m]embers of both classes of 2020 and 2021 will be invited back to campus May or June 2022 for a special weekend to reconnect as a community, celebrate their time at Pomona and look to the future.”

Starr also explained that this year’s online commencement “will be timed broadcasts held on a virtual platform in May or June of this year, with on-demand content available for both celebrations. A survey will go out to seniors today, so that the Class of 2021 can express their preferences for a ceremony date.”

Pomona is not the first member of the Claremont Consortium to announce an online commencement for the class of 2021. Claremont McKenna College (CMC) decided to hold its ceremony online on March 5 of this year.

Graduates from the class of 2020 will also be invited to the reunion in 2022. Previously, Pomona had postponed the commencement ceremony for 2020 graduates until December of last year. At the time, Pomona promised a “special in-person celebration for the class of 2020 at a future time when the campus is permitted to host large gatherings under public health guidance.” 

Starr also announced Pomona’s honorary degree recipients for the 2020-2021 academic year in the same email. The three recipients will be Ady Barkan, a lawyer and activist for healthcare and wage growth, Gustavo Dudamel, music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and former New York Times executive editor and Pulitzer-Prize-winner Bill Keller, a graduate from the class of 1970.

According to Starr, all three honorary degree recipients will address the graduates at the virtual commencement ceremony in May.

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