The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

OSU to hold commencement

First in-person graduation for many 2020 high school graduates
H Beck

Oregon State University’s 155th annual commencement ceremony will bring together staff, students and family to honor and celebrate the 2024 graduating class. 

June’s commencement will be a unique one for some graduates, because it will be the first in-person graduation for students who graduated from high school in 2020.

The global pandemic affected schools across the country, and OSU was not immune. In April 2020, the OSU administration announced the postponement of the traditional June commencement exercises to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19. 

Similarly, many high school graduations were canceled or changed for the same reasons. 

Many graduating students in the class of 2024 were the group of high school seniors who had their graduation ceremony canceled, changed to an online format or an altered version of the traditional graduation ceremony.

“Missing my high school graduation in 2020 was a canon event in my life…In 2020, it was a rainy day, and we had a drive-through graduation,” said fourth-year OSU student Audrey Sand. “It was terrible and it didn’t give me the closure from high school that I honestly needed.”

This year, there will be graduation events and activities leading up to Saturday, June 15, when the final ceremony will occur in Reser Stadium. 

Graduates planning to attend the commencement must RSVP through the commencement attendance confirmation webpage. Registration is open until June 4, and students who need accommodations must do so by June 5 through the commencement accessibility and accommodations webpage

Oregon State aims to make the ceremony accessible by providing accessible parking, accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing guests, shuttle services and more. 

While graduates must register, guest tickets are not required and there is no guest list for family and friends. Graduates are encouraged to bring as many people as they would like, however seating is first-come, first-serve. 

Stadium gates will open at 9 a.m. for guests, and the commencement will also be broadcasted for those unable to attend on the commencement website. A stream in Spanish with subtitles will also be available.

The event will span the day and wrap up around 2 p.m. 

For processional lineup, undergraduates will convene at the Memorial Union Quad and graduate students will meet at the Valley Library Quad at 9 a.m. The procession to Reser Stadium will start promptly at 10 a.m. 

This year’s commencement address will be given by Steven Jackson, an OSU alumnus, former Beaver football player, philanthropist and National Football League running back. 

“With his remarkable journey and profound experiences, Jackson is poised to deliver an inspiring and empowering keynote address that will resonate deeply with the Class of 2024,” Director of Commencement Kayleen Eng said.

Eng has been involved with commencement planning since 2017, and served as director chair of the commencement planning committee for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 ceremonies.

Eng attributed a celebratory feeling during graduation to both the newly finished stadium construction and the graduates who did not get a normal high school graduation in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“The ceremony aims to create lasting memories for the graduates and their loved ones, fostering a sense of pride and accomplishment as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” Eng said.

Sand is looking forward to the ceremony. 

“I have never actually sat through a graduation ceremony of my own and I’m excited to have the opportunity for an authentic grad experience,” Sand said. 

Graduates will receive their physical diplomas at the ceremony, while only doctoral candidates walk across the stage with their names read. Master’s and undergraduate candidates are acknowledged separately with standing ovations.

Visitors for graduation this year will also have the opportunity to witness the renovated stadium that reopened in August 2023. 

“Due to the construction at Reser the past few years, we have only been able to utilize seating on the east side of the stadium,” Eng said. Now that the construction of Reser Stadium is complete, the 2024 commencement ceremony will utilize the entire stadium for guest seating which is very exciting and opens up the venue for more guests and a celebratory feel.” 

Reser Stadium has a clear bag policy, and backpacks, purses, fanny packs or tote bags are not allowed. Bags are allowed if they are:

  • Clear bags that do not exceed 12 inches x 6 inches x 12 inches. 
  • One-gallon clear, resealable plastic storage bags. 
  • Small clutch bags no larger than 4.5 inches x 8.5 inches or approximately the size of a hand. 

“The goal of commencement is to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the graduating students,” Eng said. “By bringing together the graduates, their families, friends, faculty and staff, the ceremony aims to mark this significant milestone in their academic journey. It provides an opportunity for reflection, celebration and the recognition of their hard work and dedication.” 

Was this article helpful?
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Daily Barometer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *