Oregon Coast Community College knows its graduates will make a difference in their communities after they graduate. Before they make that difference, though, they’ll make some noise. College-branded cowbells, gifted to each carload of visitors throughout the event, will help family and friends celebrate out loud the accomplishments of the college graduates in their lives.
The 2021 commencement ceremony, like so many other events and traditions, has been impacted by the pandemic. In June of last year, OCCC’s commencement moved to a completely virtual event, with only a handful of staff gathered in strict distancing protocols for a ceremony streamed live via Zoom.
This year’s ceremony, on Friday evening, June 11, will bring students to OCCC’s Central County Campus in Newport to be recognized and congratulated live and in-person by President Birgitte Ryslinge, Board of Education Chair Nancy Osterlund, Vice President Dan Lara, and other administrators and faculty.
Dubbed a “Car-Mencement,” the event is structured to take every precaution to protect the health and safety of students and the college community. A limited number of family and friends may accompany each graduate in a car for commencement. Traffic will be directed around the parking lot, and each student will exit the vehicle alone to walk to the podium, situated outside, in front of the main doors of the campus. There, their name and degree will be read aloud, and they will be presented with a leather cover for their diploma. Each graduate will then step inside the campus building to have a professional portrait photograph taken by Bob Gibson and Jeri Knudson of The Photography Studio in Lincoln City. The final steps they’ll take on campus will lead them out of the building and back to their cars to rejoin their party. Groups will be permitted to park in designated areas to take additional photographs if they wish.
Unfortunately, the event is open only to students and the family and friends who accompany them in their one vehicle. The campus cannot accommodate more than one vehicle per graduate, and the public is asked to participate by watching the proceedings live, via Zoom. A link to the Zoom presentation will be featured on the college’s website and social media (@occcsharks) by Tuesday, June 9. A produced compilation video of the event, featuring special addresses including the commencement address by State Sen. Dick Anderson, will be distributed in July to each graduate.
For more details, including a map showing how traffic will flow at the event along with other details, visit oregoncoast.edu/graduation-commencement or call 541-867-8501.