Diploma break-down: graduates’ thoughts on drive-thru ceremony

By: Gus Castillo, April 6, 2021

As the semester comes to a close, Cal Poly Pomona has chosen to do a drive-in ceremony for the graduates of 2020 and 2021. This decision diverges from that of other CSU graduations, such as CSU Long Beach. The decision is met with mixed reviews from CPP grads.

“Initially, I didn’t care for graduation since everything is online and I just wanted my degree sent to me. But I also wanted to take into consideration of what my parents would want because I know they would want to see some type of celebration for me. I think ultimately, I’m okay with doing the drive-through graduation for my parents’ sake, but if we didn’t have a ceremony at all I would be okay with that too.” 

Emily Ramirez – communication student




“I think Pomona is doing their best under the current circumstances. However, I don’t think many people will attend. Some people may have moved out of state and would likely be unwilling to come back to attend a drive-thru ceremony. I personally prefer the virtual ceremony because I can stay home and celebrate with my family.”

Elizabeth Kimura- electrical engineering student





“The class of 2021 has been through such a rollercoaster with spending the entire year virtually and getting emails after email stating that we will or won’t get a graduation; it has been frustrating. Since I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, getting any type of graduation would have meant a lot to me and to my family … I’m not exactly sure how the drive-through graduation is going to work, how long it’s going to take and how tired and bored we will probably be throughout it.”

Naela Salamah- psychology student




“I hoped that quarantine would have ended by the time of my graduation. I would have loved to have a normal graduation ceremony. However, I know the times are still tough. So as long as it’s not a Zoom graduation, a drive-through graduation will be enough.”

Joe Si- computer engineering student





“After four-plus years of hard work and commitment to CPP, it’s overwhelming to hear graduates’ only option is to partake in a drive-thru ceremony. Meanwhile, amusement parks and larger outdoor gatherings are permitted. I’d hope Cal Poly reconsiders their decision with new state regulations to create a ceremony 20/21 graduates deserve.”

Gabriella Chow- business administration student





“A drive-through graduation would sound interesting and definitely something I would be down for. Being able to go back to and visit the campus one more time would be nice. As well as possibly seeing my friends one more time before we graduate.”

Ahiezer Lopez- electrical engineering student







“I think the drive-through graduation is better than having a fully virtual one. However, I think being stuck in your car for 90 minutes doesn’t sound as great. I know the circumstances limit us to this, but I was hoping we will be able to walk at least. Since that is something I have been looking forward to ever since I started school.”

Kelly Garcia- marketing student





Feature image courtesy of Antreina Stone.



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