What to know about USD’s in-person graduation ceremonies

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SAN DIEGO – Starting Saturday, some 3,200 University of San Diego students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will participate in in-person ceremonies to celebrate their graduation.

Blanca Hernandez, center, is among some 3,200 University of San Diego students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 that will participate in in-person ceremonies to celebrate their graduation. (Jasmine Denisse Photo)

Last year’s ceremony was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, which made Blanca Hernandez feel as though her hard work was for nothing if she could not share it with family. At long last, Hernandez will be of the 900 graduates from 2020 to finally walk across the stage and be recognized.

“It was a big sigh of relief, honestly,” she said, “knowing that I would get the chance — at last — to have my parents see me in my cap and gown and have me walk across the stage.”

Graduation was more than a celebration for Hernandez, but a milestone as a first-generation Latina pursuing her dream of a college education. Her father is from Juárez and her mom from Sonora.

“I have the same name as my mom,” she said. “I really wanted to have her maiden name on my diploma, so it’s almost as if she is graduating in a way.”

Hernandez’s mother was going through breast cancer while in school, making this graduation day a little bit sweeter.

“It was a fear of hers maybe not being able to see me graduate,” she said. “Getting the opportunity to at last have her and my dad see that is amazing.”

Due to current coronavirus regulations, USD only will allow each graduate to bring two guests. Graduates and guests are required to wear masks and get their temperature checked. All ceremonies will take place outside in Torero Stadium rain or shine, according to the university.

The event also will be streaming online at commencement.sandiego.edu.

The university’s graduation dates are as follows:

May 15

  • 9 a.m.: School of Law (Class of 2020 and 2021);
  • 2:30 p.m.: School of Leadership and Education Sciences and Professional and Continuing Education (Class of 2021);

May 16

  • 9 a.m.: Class of 2020 undergraduate and graduate programs, including Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Professional & Continuing Education, School of Business and School of Leadership and Education Sciences;
  • 2:30 p.m.: Class of 2020 undergraduate and graduate programs for College of Arts and Sciences and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering;

May 21

  • 10 a.m.: NROTC Commissioning Ceremony;

May 22

  • 9 a.m.: Class of 2021 graduate programs for College of Arts and Science, Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering;
  • 4 p.m.: Baccalaureate mass;

May 23

  • 9 a.m.: Class of 2021 undergraduate program for College of Arts and Sciences; and
  • 2:30 p.m.: Class of 2021 undergraduate programs for School of Business and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

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