Two graduates walking outside

Students get the choice to “walk the walk” on graduation day or go virtual

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 29, 2021–Warner Pacific University (WPU) announced today that its 2021 commencement on May 8 will be a hybrid of formats with a traditional diploma stage walk available after a virtual ceremony.

Graduation day kicks off at 9 a.m. with official greetings, reading of names, and conferring of degrees via pre-recorded video. Then from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the live individual stage walk gets underway outdoors on the Mt. Tabor campus lawn.

“Although current Covid-19 guidelines still make a large in-person commencement ceremony unworkable, we heard loudly and clearly that most students desire some kind of in-person ceremony in front of friends and family,” said Warner Pacific’s registrar, Marlo Waters.

As a result, Warner Pacific created a way for students to commemorate accomplishments with faculty, family, friends, and classmates within the health guidelines in place in Portland. Stage walks will be done by degree category, with optional small receptions held earlier in the week on May 6 and 7, sponsored by the university’s academic departments.

“For all events, we will continue to follow relevant safety guidelines, including physical distancing and wearing masks when within 6 ft. of others outside of family groups,” said WPU’s vice president of Academic Affairs Luke Goble.

Students may sign up for a time slot to walk across the stage, have their names called, and receive diploma covers from Warner Pacific’s president, Dr. Brian Johnson. Masters students will receive their hoods from selected family members or guests.

Each student may bring up to a maximum of eight guests per Multnomah County guidelines. Family and friends are allowed to gather to watch, then must exit along with their students in order to keep the gathering within acceptable limits.