Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to our library of frequently asked questions for answers to some of our more common inquiries. If your question is not listed on this page, please check the following pages:

  • Full schedule of events: Highlights of the three-day weekend, including the Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony (invitation only), the Class Day award program and dinner and An Evening of Music and Art, featuring the Glee Club and the Senior Art Show.
  • Information for graduates: Activities and deadlines to prepare graduates for Commencement 2022.
  • Information for families: Comprehensive information about participating in Commencement weekend, including travel, local accommodations and services available to guests at the Commencement ceremony.

General Questions

Do I need tickets to attend Commencement Weekend events?

Most Commencement Weekend events do not require tickets for guests. The one event that does require tickets is the Class Day Dinner, which takes place on Saturday, May 14, immediately following the Class Day Awards Program. For more information on the Class Day Awards Program and Dinner, including ticket purchase information, please visit our Class Day Information page.

Is there a rain plan for the outdoor Commencement Weekend events?

In the event of severe rain, we may relocate the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15 into Bridges Auditorium. If this change occurs, tickets will be required and graduates will receive information on how many tickets they are allotted. This decision is usually made one week in advance based on the weather forecast.

COVID-19 Protocols

What protocols are in place for Commencement Weekend?

At this time, family members and guests are not permitted inside campus building. Pomona College also requires masks be worn outside when in groups of 50 or more, regardless of vaccination status. All outdoor activities for Commencement will require masks for participants and guests.

Graduating students must be masked during the Commencement procession and ceremony, but may remove their masks when they walk across the stage during the ceremony. Masks must be replaced when graduates return to their seats.

These guidelines will be updated as needed. Please check back frequently for the most current requirements.

Are any protocols (such as the masking policy) expected to change by the time of graduation?

Unfortunately, we are unable to advise regarding any future changes to the COVID-19 protocols for events. We are in constant communication with our medical team and the LA County Department of Public Health to assess transmission rates and risk, and will announce any changes to previously stated protocols via the Pomona College Class of 2022 Commencement website.

Are the Pomona College protocols consistent with LA County guidelines?

Pomona College uses LA County guidelines as a baseline for establishing community guidelines that protect the safety of our residential community of students, staff and faculty. In some cases, Pomona College policy is more restrictive than LA County guidelines.

May I help my graduate move out of their residence hall?

At this time, only members of our community with a valid Pomona College ID card may enter campus buildings, including residence halls.

Schedule

What events take place during Commencement Weekend?

Commencement Weekend consists of a number of events to recognize the accomplishments of our graduating class. Starting Friday, May 13, graduates and their families and guests can join in celebration with faculty and staff in a range of activities, culminating with the Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 15. Please consult the full schedule of events for additional information.

Do I need tickets for Commencement weekend events?

With the exception of the Class Day dinner on Saturday, May 14, Commencement Weekend events do not require tickets.

How many tickets does each graduate receive for the Class Day dinner?

Every graduating student can order up to three complimentary dinner tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased for $10 per adult (ages 13 and older) and $5 per child (ages 5-12). Children under the age of 5 do not need a ticket. There is no limit to the number of additional Class Day dinner tickets each graduate may purchase. Visit the Class Day dinner tickets page to reserve and purchase tickets for your group.

Does my graduate need a ticket for the Class Day dinner?

Yes, every person aged 5 or older needs a ticket to eat dinner. Tickets are not required for the award program portion of the event.

What is the Baccalaureate service?

The Baccalaureate Service is hosted by the Chaplains Office for graduates of all of the undergraduate and graduate schools of The Claremont Colleges. Please contact the Chaplains Office for more information on this program.

Class Day Awards Program and Dinner

What is Class Day?

"Class Day" is a Pomona College tradition, held on Saturday, May 14, the day before Commencement, for the Class of 2022. Class Day begins with academic department receptions in the morning and culminates in senior academic and leadership awards and a celebratory dinner for seniors and their guests on Marston Quad. Tickets are not required for the Class Day award program, only for the Class Day dinner that follows.

Where will the Class Day dinner take place?

The Class Day dinner will take place on Marston Quad, immediately following the Class Day award program.

Does my graduate need a ticket for the Class Day dinner?

Yes, all individuals ages 5 and older must have a ticket to have a meal at the Class Day dinner. Children under the age of 5 do not need a ticket. Complimentary and paid tickets may be secured on the Class Day ticketing website.

Is there a limit to the number of tickets a family can purchase for the Class Day dinner?

No, there is no limit to the number of tickets a family can purchase for the Class Day dinner.

Will there be vegetarian options available at the Class Day dinner?

Yes, all meals served at Pomona College events include options for guests with varying dietary needs. If you have a less common dietary restriction, please email PomonaEvents@pomona.edu so that we may be aware of your needs.

Awards and Honors

When will award winners be announced?

Class award and prize winners are announced at the Class Day award program on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Additional awards and prizes are announced at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

Is there an application process for Phi Beta Kappa?

The Pomona College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, established in 1914, is the Gamma of California. Seniors and juniors "who are of good moral character, and who are distinguished for breadth of culture and excellence of scholarship" may be elected to membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. There is no application process for Phi Beta Kappa. Membership is invitation-only and contingent upon fulfillment of minimum requirements. Chapters are expected to determine the specific application of standards stated in these stipulations.

Commencement Ceremony

Is the graduation stage wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the graduation stage will be built to allow graduates who use wheelchairs to receive their diploma on stage in the same manner as their peers.

Will the Commencement ceremony be live streamed?

Yes, the live broadcast of the ceremony will be available on the Class of 2022 Commencement web page.

Accessibility

What resources are available for guests with limited mobility?

We have designated a number of campus locations to provide parking and drop-off options for guests who have difficulty with walking long distances or who use wheelchairs. Shuttle services are also provided between the South Campus Parking Structure and Marston Quad, where the Class Day awards program and dinner and the Commencement ceremony will take place. We have also designated seating areas for guests attending the ceremony in wheelchairs or using other mobility assisting devices, as the noted events take place on the all-grass Marston Quad. Additional information on services available for guests, including the Commencement Guest/Disability Services Request form, can be found on the Information for Families and Guests page.

Is the graduation stage wheelchair accessible?

  1. Yes, the graduation stage will be built to allow graduates who use wheelchairs to receive their diploma on stage in the same manner as their peers.

Graduate Logistics

When do graduates need to move out of their residence halls?

All graduates must be out of the residence halls by noon on Monday, May 16, 2022. It is highly recommended and encouraged for graduates to begin packing and moving items out of their rooms, if possible, prior to Commencement weekend to ensure they can meet this deadline.

What if graduates have items they would like to leave for returning or new students to purchase or claim in the fall semester?

Graduates who have gently used items to donate to the Office of Sustainability for the fall ReCoop sales may leave the items in the lounge of their residence hall. Nothing should be left in the graduates’ dorm rooms.

When do the graduates receive caps and gowns? When are they returned?

Graduates receive caps and gowns on May 2 and 3 at Smith Campus Center 235 and must return them immediately following the Commencement ceremony, in exchange for their leather diploma holder. Graduates should visit the Information for Graduates page of the Commencement website for additional information.

What do the students wear to the various events?

There is not a set dress code for any event during Commencement weekend. Most often, we have seen students and families typically wear attire that can be described as "smart casual." Each student makes their own decision regarding how formally or informally to dress for each event.

Diplomas

Can students put a name that is not their birth name on the diploma?

While graduates are allowed to use a preferred or chosen name on the diploma, they are advised to use the legal name they will use in future employment, especially if they plan to leave the country following graduation, as the diploma is a legal document that can be used to validate identity.

How do I get my diploma if I do not attend the Commencement ceremony?

If an eligible graduate does not attend their Commencement ceremony, they should provide up-to-date mailing address information to the Registrar's office so that their diploma can be mailed to them. Diplomas that are not picked up during the Class of 2022 Commencement ceremony on May 15 will be mailed at the Registrar's discretion after the celebration.

Fall ’21 Graduates

My graduate enrolled with the Class of 2021 but did not complete their degree requirements until Fall 2021. Which Commencement ceremony should they attend?

Pomona College confers degrees based on the academic year during which the candidate completes their degree requirements. Since Fall 2021 graduates completed their degree requirements during the 2021-2022 academic year, they should attend the Class of 2022 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Fall 2021 graduates and their families should have already received a formal invitation to the May 15 Commencement ceremony. Please contact PomonaEvents@pomona.edu if you did not receive your printed invitation.

My graduate enrolled with the Class of 2021 but did not complete their degree requirements until Fall 2021. Are they allowed to attend Take Two?

Since the Take Two celebration includes a special Commencement ceremony that provides graduates whose degree conferral ceremonies were held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions, graduates who completed their degree requirements during subsequent semesters should attend the Commencement ceremony that corresponds with their new class year. Please contact the Registrar’s Office if you are unsure which class year your graduate falls into. Fall 2021 graduates may attend the Class of 2021 party on Friday, May 20, and may attend the Take Two Commencement ceremony as a guest, but campus housing and financial assistance are not available for these graduates to attend Take Two. Information about their invited Take Two activities will be sent directly to Fall 2021 graduates.

How can my Fall ’21 graduate complete the in-person tasks that take place during the spring semester?

semester?

Most requirements for Commencement participation may be completed online. Graduates should visit the Information for Graduates page for a list of important dates and deadlines. For tasks that are typically completed in person, graduates should contact the designated person to receive further instructions.

Take Two

What is Take Two?

Take Two is the in-person celebration Pomona College is hosting to celebrate graduates who completed their degree requirements during the Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 terms. Since these graduates’ in-person degree conferral ceremonies were held virtually due to pandemic restrictions, the College is pleased to invite members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 (as defined above) to campus to celebrate their achievements with their families and guests and other members of the Pomona College community.

Visiting Campus

Find comprehensive instructions for visiting Pomona College, including local airports, driving directions and parking information on the Information for Families and Guests page. Signage will be posted throughout the entire weekend to direct guests to accessible parking and loading locations, as well as shuttle stops for guests with limited mobility.