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Cal Poly Fall Commencement set for Dec. 11 

graduationUniversity also will host in-person ceremony Dec. 12 for the Class of 2020, impacted by COVID-19 pandemic

– Cal Poly will host two ceremonies honoring its graduates this weekend — the 38th annual fall commencement on Saturday, Dec. 11, celebrating the fall Class of 2021, and a special, in-person name recognition event Sunday, Dec. 12, for graduates of the Class of 2020. Both events will start at 10 a.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Stadium on campus.

“Commencement marks the end of a chapter and a celebration of accomplishment for our Cal Poly graduates,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “It gives us an opportunity to honor their hard work and to salute their support team of family, friends, faculty and mentors. This is particularly true of these graduates, who have navigated life and studies in the incredibly challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fall commencement comes as we all gear up for the holiday season and offers more to be joyful about. We won’t have look far; we’ll see it on the faces of these Ready Day One graduates.”

The ceremonies will include a “proud pinning” ceremony, a celebratory surprise, and a large LED screen for all guests to see. Each 90-minute ceremony will be live-streamed online with closed captioning for those unable to attend.

Saturday’s Fall Commencement will honor more than 810 undergraduate students and about 120 master’s students. The ceremony will recognize graduate candidates from all of the university’s colleges: the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; College of Architecture and Environmental Design; College of Engineering; College of Liberal Arts; College of Science and Mathematics; and the Orfalea College of Business. Officials expect roughly 9,000 attendees.

On Sunday, about 1,400 members from all six colleges of the Class of 2020 will be honored and given a chance to walk across the stage. These graduates are among the roughly 6,000 who had virtual ceremonies in June and December of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers expect about 7,000 attendees for this celebration.

California Boulevard will be closed to through traffic. Parking permits are not required on campus during commencement. Parking will be available off Highland Drive on Via Carta in Lots H12, H14 or H16. ADA parking is available on the top level of the Grand Avenue parking structure and Parking Lot C7. Accessible shuttles — available for guests with mobility impairments — will travel between the parking lots/structure and Spanos Stadium throughout the day.

For more information about the ceremonies, visit and

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