Update on Commencement Planning

To: UC Santa Cruz Students

From: Chancellor Cindy Larive

Dear Banana Slugs,

As more and more Californians receive the COVID-19 vaccination and the state eases restrictions around in-person activities, our campus has been exploring additional opportunities to celebrate our graduates.

As previously announced, we will hold virtual commencements this June to ensure that Banana Slugs near and far can celebrate their achievements and that families and friends around the world can participate. All of the details are available at our commencement website. Degree conferral, congratulatory speeches, and the recognition of each graduate will all occur through the virtual commencement ceremonies.

In addition, we are planning a student-only, stage-crossing opportunity for graduates over a period of several days on the UC Santa Cruz campus — we’re calling it the Slug Crossing! In the coming weeks, graduates will be invited to sign up for a block of time during which they will have their name read, their photo taken and the opportunity to cross the commencement stage at an outdoor venue on campus. This event is for students only — family and friends are invited to watch via the livestream. This plan is evolving with a close eye on public health guidance and local, state, and UC health requirements, and may change if requirements change.

With the wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, many have asked why we cannot have an in-person ceremony. The progress of the pandemic continues to be difficult to predict however, and commencement ceremonies take months to plan and execute. The combination of a virtual commencement and a stage-crossing opportunity promotes well-being in our community and ensures that everyone, near and far, can join in the celebration.

To protect the safety of fellow students, as well as staff and volunteers, attendees will be required to wear face coverings (except during the stage crossing and photo) and maintain distance. Participants in the stage crossing must be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to the event or have a negative COVID-19 test result within 24-72 hours of the event. Details of how to confirm eligibility will be provided through the registration process.

I am grateful to everyone involved in supporting commencement for their hard work and creativity in finding new ways to celebrate our graduates and honor their achievements this year. We have faced so many challenges together over the past year and I look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our students!

And if you haven’t already, make sure you request your gift box by 11:59 p.m. April 15! The link to request a gift box is available on the commencement website .


Cindy Larive
Chancellor, UC Santa Cruz