I heard that other California universities are holding in-person graduations this year. Why isn't Caltech doing that?Current public health restrictions prevent Caltech from realizing the essential ceremony elements in an in-person gathering that reflects Caltech's close-knit community and our values. In particular, the health guidelines that are presently in place would limit an in-person ceremony to students who are currently residing in California, and would therefore exclude students living elsewhere in the US, as well as our substantial international community. We also found the guidelines to be particular restrictive for friends and family. The Institute was not prepared to plan any commencement event that necessarily excludes substantial numbers of students receiving degrees.
As such, we have decided to proceed with celebrating our graduates in two stages: a virtual ceremony this June that allows for the timely conferral of degrees for the 2021 graduates; and then, in the fall, an inclusive, in-person event that enables us to bring 2020 and 2021 graduates together with friends, family, and colleagues in the familiar confines of our main campus.