Fresno City College announced it will now hold in-person commencement ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 graduates.
In addition, FCC will continue with plans to virtually include students who expressed hesitation about participating in-person.
In order to accommodate the large number of graduates and give students time to purchase their regalia, FCC will host two ceremonies on June 23 and June 24 at 8 p.m. each night.
With support from the City of Fresno, FCC will hold their outdoor commencement events at Chukchansi Park and will be able to end the celebrations with fireworks.
At the end of the ceremony, photos of all graduates will be displayed on the large scoreboard which will be part of the livestream.
All graduates, whether attending in-person or not, may upload a photo to be displayed.
Students who wish to have their photo displayed at the end of the ceremony must upload their photo here by May 21, 2021.
If students have already uploaded a photo for the previously planned 2021 virtual ceremony, they do not need to upload their photo again.
Both in-person ceremonies will be live streamed.
Links to the live stream will be made available on FCC’s Commencement Ceremony webpage on the day of the ceremonies.
The two ceremonies will be divided based on FCC’s five Ram Pathways, which are groups of related programs of study based on similar core classes and career paths.
The ceremony for students in business, health and STEM will be on June 23 and June 24 for those in the arts, communication and language, culture, education and society, tech and trades.
Students who are unsure of what pathway they are part of should check the Ram Pathways webpage: https://www.fresnocitycollege.edu/academics/guided-pathways/index.html
Beginning Friday, April 23, all graduates will receive an email containing a link through which they can confirm their attendance to the in-person celebration.
FCC will be required to have a list of all attendees in advance, therefore graduates will not be allowed to RSVP after May 14 or attend the ceremony without a reservation, according to the announcement.
Due to COVID-19 preventive measures related to capacity, graduates will be allowed to bring two guests each.
Graduates who RSVP by the May 14 deadline, will receive instructions by email on how to reserve tickets for themselves and for their two guests.
The names of the guests must be provided.
Students are reminded that FCC reserves the right to cancel or modify the in-person ceremonies at any time, if COVID-19 conditions worsen.
Students can purchase caps and gowns at the FCC bookstore online or in-store.
Store hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If students were eligible for Honors or other regalia, they should check their student email next week for pick-up instructions.
In March, FCC announced the ceremony will be virtual again this year.
However on April 13, FCC notified students they were now looking into a modified in-person ceremony.
The April 13 announcement came a day after FCC student, Gardenia Uribe, sent administration her petition asking for the ceremony to be in-person instead.
Uribe did not comment on FCC’s final decision.
Katie Dyer, humanities major at FCC, is one student who plans to participate in the virtual ceremony.
As the mother of an 8-year-old epileptic son, Dyer said her family must be careful to not bring COVID-19 into the home or around him.
“I appreciate FCC for accommodating everyone. Graduating is important and allowing us all to be able to participate in the manner that we feel safest is awesome,” she said.
In addition, Dyer does not believe the vaccinated population is enough to have that many people together just yet but is excited for those who feel it is safe to participate in person.
Also in the announcement, FCC said the class of 2021 includes 2,295 graduates which is the largest class in the history of the college.
The class of 2020 had 2,006.
“These numbers are a great indication of the dedication and perseverance of FCC students who were determined to succeed in the face of adversity,” FCC said in their announcement. “They didn’t let the hardship of going to college during a pandemic hold them back. We congratulate them and we look forward to celebrating their great achievements in June!”