2022 grads to take next step at in-person commencement on May 13

La+Playa+Stadium+on+Monday%2C+May+2+at+City+College+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+The+stadium+will+host+the+colleges+first+in-person+commencement+since+spring+2019.

Rodrigo Hernandez

La Playa Stadium on Monday, May 2 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The stadium will host the college’s first in-person commencement since spring 2019.

Yarrow Hogan, Staff Writer

For the first time in two years, City College’s commencement will be held in person and welcomes graduates from past years to participate in the festivities.

The 2022 ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at La Playa Stadium for students to walk across the stage to receive their diploma.

“We are excited to be back in person again,” Christopher Johnson, associate dean of educational programs and student affairs, said. “It is a rite of passage that graduates and their families, friends, as well as faculty, staff and administrators all look forward to.”

Graduation regalia is available in the campus bookstore as well as on the website where students can purchase caps, gowns, tassels and other merchandise. The campus store is hosting “Gradfest” from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on May 10 through 12 where students can find information and make sure they have everything they need for graduation day.

Prior to graduation, students are required to meet with their assigned academic counselor to ensure eligibility and register for their diploma.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Friday May 13, students will begin gathering in parking lot 2B on east campus where they will be greeted with music, food and paraphernalia to kickstart the celebration.

City College student Lyric Hill, who will be transferring to UCSB in the fall, said that “being at SBCC has been such a great experience and I am excited to start a new chapter in my life.”

In the midst of the pandemic, Katy George graduated from City College as a student in lockdown.

“I think that the in-person graduation is really important to unify everyone’s experience,” she said. “I am excited for everyone who can celebrate their accomplishments together.”

Differing from previous years, more members of the community have been invited to join the 2022 graduates on commencement day. Members of the City College Foundation, Board of Trustees and elected officials will be part of the proceedings.

The diverse graduating class features students from a myriad of circumstances.

“Some people are completing a degree from different places in the state, country and around the world,” Johnson said.

Whether they attend the face-to-face commencement ceremony or finish their credits online, students can take several things from their time at City College.

“It’s been a wonderful adventure to grow intellectually and socially, improving my English and just enjoying my time here,” Renata Dayanova, an international exchange student from Kazakhstan who is graduating this year, said. “I’m grateful for everyone I’ve met as each person brought something unique to this experience.”

Family members and friends are encouraged to attend and help support the graduates as they walk across the stage. No tickets or reservations are needed, and the ceremony will be live-streamed for those unable to be there in person.

Parking lots on campus will be open on a first-come-first-serve basis the day of the event. City College will follow all outdoor event regulations and will not require face masks or proof of vaccination.

As students get ready for the next step of their journey, Johnson said to “celebrate well and celebrate safely, enjoy the moment.”