By: Julia Terbeche and Iman Palm
Graduating Long Beach State students participating in next month’s commencement ceremony can expect two guest tickets, two parking passes and a socially distanced seating arrangement at Angel Stadium.
The Commencement Office initially announced that graduates will only be given one ticket for a guest in addition to a ticket for themselves, to which students voiced their concerns over having to choose favorites between parents, friends or a significant other.
In response, Jeff Cook, associate vice president of strategic communications, said in an email to the Daily Forty-Niner that the university had been working with the venue to permit more guests. The following day, the commencement team sent out an email to all graduates confirming this information.
“The university has worked with Angel Stadium to increase allowable tickets per ceremony so that each student may now have two guests along with the two parking passes,” the email read. “Mobile tickets will be distributed in mid-May to all eligible graduates.”
Cook maintained that the seating arrangement for guests is “still being determined.” In total, graduates will be given three tickets, one for themselves and two for guests, and two parking passes.
The ceremony, which will be held from May 28 to 31 at Angel Stadium, will be livestreamed on the commencement website for guests without tickets.
Graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will also be able to walk across “microstages,” which will be present in the stadium parking lot for photo opportunities. Cook said there will be six “graduate recognition stages” in total set up outside the stadium.
While the ceremony will occur inside Angel Stadium, the recognition stages will be set up outside the venue in the parking lot for graduates to walk across. At the stages, students’ customized grad slides will be displayed and their names will be read aloud by CSULB alumnus Jamieson Price, a professional voice actor and announcer for the recent Mortal Kombat games.
“Pre-recorded name-reading occurs only at the recognition stages outside of the stadium. Students may access these stages both before and after the ceremonies inside the stadium,” Cook said. “At the recognition stages outside the stadium, students scan their ticket and their name is played and their graduate slide is shown. Graduates can then walk across the stage as their guests or friends take photos or videos.”
Cook maintained that “the ceremonies inside the stadium and the availability of the recognition stages outside the stadium are independent of each other.”
This announcement comes after officials previously stated that students would remain in their seats for the entirety of the program.
In a previous email to the Daily Forty-Niner, Cook said that students will not be given any form of diploma as “giving participants any item handled by multiple persons is not permitted and, therefore, is not being planned.”
While the programs for each ceremony are still being planned, a big part of each ceremony will be “the formal conferral of degrees,” according to Cook.
The deadline for students to submit their name pronunciation has been extended to April 16, and the graduate slide complete with a photo and quote is due May 1.
Students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 will be recognized by their year and college from May 28 to 31:
- College of Engineering — Friday, May 28, 9:30 a.m.
- College of Liberal Arts — Friday, May 28, 5 p.m.
- College of the Arts — Saturday, May 29, 9:30 a.m.
- College of Health & Human Services — Saturday, May 29, 5 p.m.
- College of Education — Sunday, May 30, 9:30 a.m.
- College of Business — Sunday, May 30, 5 p.m.
- College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics — Monday, May 31, 9:30 a.m.
After officials announced last month that the commencement team was considering hosting an in-person ceremony, a survey was sent to all graduating students asking whether they would prefer an in-person alternative to the car parade. As Long Beach and Orange counties have transitioned into the orange tier, restrictions have loosened and outdoor stadiums are reopening.
“By a 6:1 margin, graduates in the classes of 2020 and 2021 asked that we pursue an in-person option for graduation ceremonies. Based on these results and under the new outdoor stadium live performance public health guidelines, we are planning a pivot from drive-through commencement ceremonies to in-person ceremonies,” they said in an email.
In line with health directives, only guests with tickets will be permitted inside the stadium and must remain in their seats for the duration of the program.
More details are available on the commencement website.