Humboldt State University

Commencement 2021

Dear 2020 and 2021 Graduates,

We’re excited to announce that Humboldt State will host a series of limited in-person Commencement ceremonies in Redwood Bowl on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. The events will be livestreamed, and links to the livestream will be available on the Commencement website and HSU homepage.

In order to host this event in-person for students while meeting state and county guidelines, HSU will not be able to allow spectators at the event.

Based on new state guidance and the results of a survey sent to you and your fellow classmates, Commencement plans will look different from ceremonies in previous years but will still maintain some important traditions while balancing the health and safety of the Lumberjack community.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Schedule: HSU is planning for three ceremonies each day—one per College on each day—on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. You’ll be able to choose which day to participate when you register, to the extent allowed by the attendance limit at each ceremony. Ceremonies will be held RAIN OR SHINE.
  • Registration: You MUST register by April 21 to participate in Commencement. To comply with safety protocols and county public health guidelines, registration for the ceremony is required to enter Redwood Bowl. Remember, to be eligible to walk in the Commencement ceremony, you first need to file your Application for Graduation. More information on how to register will be sent to you within the next week.

    There are backup plans for a virtual ceremony if HSU needs to change its in-person plans based on the status of the pandemic. There will be a single registration that covers planned in-person events and, if necessary, a virtual event.
  • No Guests: While family and friends are an important part of your celebration plans, participation will be limited to students, faculty, and the staff running the event. It’s important to follow guidelines to reduce risk by minimizing travel by visitors from outside the county and limiting the number of people in Redwood Bowl.
  • Watch Commencement: Ceremonies will be livestreamed so that families, friends, and the campus community can watch and celebrate your big moment. There will be a link on the days of the events. A video recording will be available online after the ceremony, and can be downloaded for free from the in the weeks following.
  • Health Requirements: Depending on state and county guidelines, there may be requirements involving quarantine, testing, or vaccination. More details to come.
  • Related Events: No other events related to commencement will be held face-to-face, including any cultural graduation celebrations and department receptions. All of these events related to commencement, if scheduled, will be virtual only.
  • Regalia and Memorabilia: Caps, rental gowns, tassels, hoods, and more are now available to order on the Humboldt State Herff Jones website. Orders will be shipped directly to students, and return shipping for the rental gowns is included in the shipping fee of $12.95.
  • Photos: GradImages photographers will be on hand to capture official graduation portraits. After the ceremony, you’ll be sent a link to preview your images, and there is no obligation to purchase photos.

The safety of our Lumberjack community and their families is a priority, and all plans depend on approval by state and county public health officials and are subject to change based on the status of the pandemic.

Remember, when it’s safe to hold a traditional Commencement ceremony with families at HSU again, all alumni—whether you walk in Commencement this year, or graduated last year or several years ago—are welcome to return for Commencement in Redwood Bowl.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we work through finalizing details. Please keep an eye out for more information and good luck with the rest of the semester. We can’t wait to help you celebrate all your accomplishments!


Kristen Gould and Stephanie Lane
HSU Commencement Coordinators

Commencement Office
Humboldt State University
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