Here's What You Need to Know About Commencement 2021!

Dear SMC Alums and Graduating Students,

As we continue to face together the pandemic and its effects upon our community, we hope that you and your family are well. 

Commencement is only four months away and we can’t wait to celebrate your journey at Saint Mary’s College. Our events may look a bit different this year but we have big plans in place to recognize and celebrate your achievements.

Given the ongoing health crisis, and in order to ensure a commencement experience that is inclusive and accessible, we will celebrate Commencement this May as a drive-through experience. The SMC community will be cheering for you as you drive through our gorgeous campus. The Class of 2021 commencement website (similar to the class of 2020) will also celebrate our graduates, including student profiles, student awards, videos from various departments, and a Cultural Graduate Celebration section. Eligible students will receive more information regarding how to edit their commencement profile during the Spring semester before the commencement website launches in May.  

We know how important and memorable commencement and our traditional events are for our graduates and their families, and they are just as memorable for the faculty and staff who look forward to these celebrations every year. Although this is an adjustment of previous events, it is an exciting and new opportunity to celebrate our 2020 alums and 2021 graduates. 

More logistical information will be shared with students in the coming weeks. In the meantime, below is a breakdown of some current logistics:

Dates of the celebrations:

Friday, May 21, 2021: Class of 2021

Saturday, May 22, 2021: Class of 2020

Sunday, May 23, 2021: Graduate and Professional Studies: Class of 2020 and 2021

Cultural Graduate Celebrations and Grad Grounds:

In order to adhere to county safety regulations, Cultural Graduate Celebrations will not be held in their traditional manner. Cultural Graduate Celebration students will be included in the Class of 2021 commencement website once they apply via the Intercultural Center. Please contact the IC Director, Legacy Lee, at, or keep an eye on our website for application information coming soon for inclusion in the cultural graduate celebrations website as well as for ordering your cultural sashes. 

Grad Grounds have been an important part of our Saint Mary’s commencement traditions. Due to the county safety regulations and uncertainty surrounding the ability to host social gatherings, Grad Grounds will not be offered this year. 

Commencement Mass:

A live-streamed or recorded Commencement Liturgy will also be held in celebrating our graduates and sending them forth with our blessing in thanksgiving for their achievements and presence within the SMC Community. The time and date will be communicated at a later date. 


Class of 2020 graduates: Regalia was available to order online in Spring and Summer 2020. If regalia is still needed, please contact and include your first and last name and SMC ID.

Class of 2021: You will be able to order regalia online and have it shipped to you directly. More information regarding the ordering process will be sent out to eligible students. Students must first apply for commencement in order to receive regalia. 

Class of 2021 - Graduate and professional studies students:  You will be able to order online and have it shipped to you directly. More information regarding the ordering process will be sent out to eligible students. Please contact your department to confirm that you are eligible to receive regalia. 

As in typical years, all degrees will be awarded at the end of the semester and final transcripts will reflect students’ degrees and conferral date. We will mail diplomas to all of our May degree recipients beginning in June 2021. 

We recognize that commencement is a huge part of the college experience. It is the event that the majority of students look forward to as they complete their undergraduate journey. Although we cannot celebrate in our usual fashion, we hope that these events will honor our students, our traditions, and will offer families and friends the opportunity to celebrate. 


Jou Chau
Assistant Vice Provost and Registrar
Office of the Registrar