Frequently Asked Questions from Students

Why is the University of Redlands sponsoring virtual Commencement ceremonies instead of in-person ceremonies?

The University of Redlands is planning four virtual events on Commencement weekend, April 29-May 2, as well as a separate virtual event celebrating the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Class of 2020. All of those ceremonies are in production now, as well as Baccalaureate, Johnston Commencement, Students of Color Celebration, and the Lavender Celebration.

The University preferred in-person commencements for spring 2021 and modeled Ted Runner Stadium as our venue to allow for distancing and other additional safety measures. Unfortunately, state and county guidance at the time of our decision prevented us from hosting in-person ceremonies. When we thoroughly reviewed the restrictions of our county, San Bernardino, we could not find a way to make possible meaningful in-person ceremonies based on the guidance at the time of our decision. As of April 1, the guidance is still too restrictive. The U of R cannot host a large enough in-person “gathering” until we are in the yellow tier. Yellow allows for 25% of capacity with assigned seats, reservations, and regional attendees only within 120 miles. The planning for tier status is complicated by a requirement that we must meet the expectations of each tier for a minimum of three weeks before we can advance to a less restrictive tier. When we calculated the amount of time needed to be in the yellow tier by April 30—which would allow for 25% of our normal capacity—it did not seem likely we would qualify. Our decision to host virtual Commencements—reached after much debate and discussion across the campus—was the prudent choice so that we could effectively plan to include all our students in virtual Commencement ceremonies and communicate the process for doing so to them ahead of time.

What should graduates expect from the virtual Commencement?

Virtual Commencement is a video production, somewhat like the Grammys. President Ralph W. Kuncl will deliver welcome remarks, Provost Kathy Ogren will have faculty announcements, and University Chaplain John Walsh will give an invocation and benediction. After School and College deans and class student speakers give their speeches, the presentation of graduate slides with submitted content will begin.

Our mascot, Addie, will be available for pictures from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the following dates and locations:

Recommended Photo Opportunities

The following locations are open during Commencement weekend for photo opportunities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 29 through Sunday, May 2:

• Redlands Sign at Ann Peppers Gallery Lawn
• Administration Building Steps and facing north
• Deacon Bulldog Statue
• Memorial Chapel Steps
• Alumni Greek Theatre

Sanitizing products will be provided at these locations during these scheduled photo op dates. They are subject to existing U of R protocols for daily health self-assessment through the Redlands App, weekly COVID-19 testing, physical distancing, and face coverings.

Take your picture with Addie during Commencement weekend!

Our mascot, Addie, will be available for pictures from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at these locations on the following dates:

April 29: Redlands Sign at Ann Peppers Gallery Lawn
April 30: Administration Building
May 1: Deacon Bulldog Statue
May 2: Alumni Greek Theater

When is the University planning to host the Class of 2020 graduation? The College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2020 celebration is scheduled for Sunday, May 2. Students will receive an invitation and information from the CAS Dean’s Office.
When will a schedule come out for the Class of 2021 Commencement and Baccalaureate? See the Commencement 2021 webpage. The schedule for the main ceremonies is confirmed. Additional information for pre-Commencement events will be added over the next week, as some details are still in process.
Will all events for Commencement be held on April 30? No. Baccalaureate, Students of Color, and Lavender celebrations will take place beforehand. These dates will be announced soon.

What time would Commencement start and end since it’s online?

Will the time for Commencement be adjusted to accommodate as many people as possible in different time zones?

The premiere broadcast of virtual Commencement ceremonies will begin at 4:30 p.m. PT on their respective dates to accommodate the majority of anticipated viewers. Event recordings will be available online for viewing after the initial broadcast.
What does Commencement day look like this year? Commencement Day features the main Commencement ceremony. Other celebrations such as Baccalaureate, Students of Color, and the Lavender Celebrations will take place virtually on or around April 30. Details on these events will be forthcoming.
What is the school doing to compensate for the lack of commencement? The University is hosting events and celebrating graduates in ways that align with the events and traditions of the past. In addition, graduates will receive a graduation gift box to be shipped prior to commencement. Please use Student Planning to update the best mailing address.
Is there a maximum amount of people per person that we can invite to watch the ceremony virtually? No.
Is there any reason we would need to go to Redlands for Commencement? No. There are no on-campus, in-person events.

Is it required to purchase a cap and gown?


How do I purchase a sash, tassel, cap, or gown?

Regalia is not required.  For optional ordering via the Bookstore:

Cap, gown, & tassel:

Students will need to select "University of Redlands" to be directed to the campus ordering page. 

Sashes: Most sashes are available for purchase through the bookstore, in-store or online at:

Alumni Gifts: Available for purchase through the bookstore, in-store or online:

Are we getting the Commencement programs mailed to us, or is it just going to be a download pdf?

The ceremony programs will be digitally downloadable prior to Commencement. By request, one hard copy of the program can be mailed to you after the ceremony.

Why is the honors date in March for “publication”? Are they even getting published?

Honors will be published in the Commencement program.

When will there be more information on smaller Commencement gatherings for departments and honors?

Yes, we will update the Commencement website as information becomes available.  You can also reach out to the CAS Dean’s office for the most up-to-date information.

Social eMixers?

Nothing precludes clubs, organizations, or affinity groups from virtually hosting social eMixers as they have throughout the year.

Will we still be receiving senior shirts from Maroon & Grey?

Maroon & Grey is partnering with ASUR for senior shirts, with more information to come soon.

How can I update my address if I am a 2020 graduate? 

Your address can be updated on this page