Riverhawk mascot stands next to a stretch limo that is decorated for graduation.
Photo provided by Ronda Stearns

Graduation ceremony information for graduating students

UCC’s  57th graduation ceremony on Friday, June 11 will again be a bit untraditional; the graduation ceremony will take place in students’ cars. 

The carmencement, a drive-thru graduation, starts at 6 p.m.; however, students need to arrive at 5 p.m. to line up. 

Last year, the event took about an hour and is expected to be the same length this year.

Graphic by Peyton Manning / The Mainstream

Melissa Lake, registration and records associate, says, “We are encouraging students to decorate their vehicles.” Last year, students decorated their cars with balloons, chalk paint, stickers and more. Getting to the event early will allow students time to decorate their vehicles with the decorations they bring. 

For students who complete their car decorations before they arrive, Ronda Stearns, administrative assistant, says, “We’ll have some activities to help pass the time and have some fun.”

Because students will be in their cars, “Students may bring along whomever they choose, as long as they are able to safely operate their motor vehicle,” Stearns says. 

To make the event memorable, students and their guests can dress up in different ways to stand out such as in formal attire, dressing up as a theme (like Hawaiian attire or Roaring ’20s costumes) or wearing Riverhawk gear. Last year some students decorated their car coordinating with their outfit theme. 

Although it is encouraged to dress up, “since everyone will remain in their cars, there is no dress requirement,” Stearns says. 

Students are advised that the event will not be canceled due to any weather conditions whether for rain or shine.

As long as they are safe, students should think outside of the box to make the ceremony their own. “Last year, we had everything from a stretch limo to graffiti cars. It was a fun event! Since this is a first for students, I would suggest they get as creative as they want,” Stearns says. Last year students brought SUV’s and left their tailgate open so they could wave to family and friends. Others brought their family in a pickup truck bed and some brought their golf carts that were decorated.

The route will take students around the campus through each parking lot. “Those graduating will start just behind the library. From there they will proceed to the flag pole in front of the Del Blanchard Administration Building,” Stearns says. “They will then proceed to the parking lot at Jacoby Auditorium where their names will be announced, and a member of the Board of Education will hand them their diploma cover. They will then proceed up the hill and out of the parking lot.” 

The route for graduates and families to drive covers each parking lot in campus. Photo provided by Melissa Lake

For family members and loved ones who are unable to attend the event, “KQUA will broadcast the event, and the event will be live streamed on Facebook,” Stearns says. Those in attendance will also be given the KQUA station call signal to listen to during the whole ceremony. 

Before graduation, students must pick up their cap and gown in the UCC library southwest parking lot on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday June 7, 8 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those unable to meet these times must email micque.shoemaker@umpqua.edu or call 541-440-4600 to arrange another pick up time.

Students graduating in honors will also be given an honor stole during their cap and gown distribution. Unlike the cap and gown, honor stoles are not to be kept and will need to be returned by June 14. If not returned, $30 will be charged to the student and a hold could be put on the student’s official transcript. 

Generic graduation announcements will be offered in the Hawk Shop for all graduating students to purchase. 

Graduates should have an information packet they received from the school a few weeks ago. Any individuals who have yet to receive a packet should immediately contact Melissa Lake at both Melissa.lake@umpqua.edu and 541-440-4616.

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