May 12 - To the Class of 2020: Reminders for Commencement weekend

Dear Class of 2020,

Just a few reminders as you prepare to celebrate your achievements on Sunday, May 16. We look forward to welcoming you and your families back to campus.

Check-In for Graduates

Check-in will be located at the Rodgers Recreation Center. All graduates are required to park in the Rodgers lot to allow for guest parking in other areas. Please plan to arrive by 9 a.m. Anyone arriving past 9:30 a.m. will risk missing the procession from Rodgers to the Commencement tent.

COVID-19 Testing for Graduates

All members of the Class of 2020 participating in activities on Saturday, May 15 and/or Commencement on Sunday, May 16 are required to provide electronic or paper proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered within 48 hours (2 days) of the event/ceremony upon check in. Rapid or PCR tests will be accepted. Per state guidelines, this requirement applies even if you are fully vaccinated.

Guest Check-In and Policies

All graduates who RSVP’d for the ceremony are allowed a maximum of two guests. Guests do not need to RSVP, as they will be registered in association with the graduate’s name, but they will need to check in.

  • Out of fairness and safety considerations for all, we cannot allow the swapping or substitution of guests, nor can we allow young children to sit on laps, etc. The two-guest maximum is not seat based – it is person-based.
  • Wheelchairs will be accommodated in designated areas under the tent.
  • The two guests at Baccalaureate Mass on Saturday may be different from the two guests at Sunday’s Commencement ceremony.
  • Guest check-in will be located at the Misto Gatehouse. Please look for signage to indicate the exact location. Check-in will begin approximately one hour prior to each ceremony.
  • Guests do not need to provide a negative Covid-19 test per state guidelines, however they will be screened at check-in. Please review the screening questions in advance.
  • If guests have traveled outside the country within the past 14 days, they should provide proof of vaccination.
  • If there are concerns based on answers to the screening questions, guests will be asked to wait near the check-in area until cleared to enter the tent, or to watch the ceremony virtually. If guests have been vaccinated, they should bring their vaccination card.
  • Guests will receive color-coded wristbands to assist with safety protocols.
  • Once guests are checked in, they are free to find a seat under the Commencement tent. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional lawn seating is not available.
  • Guests must remain masked at all times (even outdoors) and follow social distancing guidelines.
  • Guests will not be allowed to leave their seats during the ceremony to take photos or congregate elsewhere. Should a guest need to leave the tent area for personal or emergency matters, they will be escorted by staff to the tent exit.

Commencement Tent and Livestream

The Commencement tent will be open on the sides to accommodate air flow. The oceanside location can be cool in the mornings, so please dress accordingly. Given the last-minute pivot to accommodate guests, the tent setup will include monitors near the seating areas to provide additional viewing opportunities.

The ceremony will also be livestreamed, with the link available on the Commencement webpage.

Baccalaureate Mass

Baccalaureate Mass will now be celebrated at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 15 in Our Lady of Mercy Chapel. This is a time change from previous messages. Graduates who RSVP’d in advance will check in near the chapel. A maximum of two guests per graduate is allowed. Guests must follow the policies outlined above and be accompanied by their graduate at check-in. The Baccalaureate Mass will also be livestreamed on the Commencement webpage.


The University has contracted with GradImages to provide professional photography during the ceremony. GradImages will take one photo of each student receiving their diploma case from the president (with mask), and there will also be an area set as each graduate descends the stage where a photo will be taken without a mask. GradImages will contact you directly regarding those photos in the event you wish to purchase them.

Following the ceremony, families are allowed to take photographs on campus as long as they remain outside of any buildings. We simply ask that you keep a safe social distance from others and that you re-mask after a photograph is taken.

Social Media

The University has several social media accounts. Please consider tagging us and using the hashtag #salve2020 so that we may continue to share in your celebration.