Finally, Class of 2020 to Celebrate with an In-Person Graduation

By Scott Craig   |   October 19, 2021
The class of 2020 will celebrate Commencement on Carr Field October 16 (photography by Brad Elliott)

Graduates of the Westmont class of 2020 will finally be able to walk across the stage on Carr Field to get their diplomas during Commencement. It’s not easy to turn back the hands of time, but Westmont will be welcoming back to campus more than 180 Westmont graduates (of the 298 who are eligible) from the class of 2020 for the traditional, formal Commencement they missed due to the pandemic.

These resilient graduates will celebrate with all the regalia, bagpipes, the Westmont Orchestra and robed faculty under a giant tent on Carr Field on Saturday, October 16, at 9 am. The event is not open to the public. Each member of the class of 2020 will be given one parking pass and allowed to bring four guests. The campus will close to the public on Saturday from 6 am to noon for the long-anticipated ceremony.

“This is their moment,” says Mary Pat Whitney, Westmont director of public events. “We have been working to ensure that graduates are able to commemorate this milestone and celebrate their tremendous accomplishment, even if it is nearly a year-and-a-half late.” 

The class of 2020 persevered through several challenging events, including the Thomas Fire, deadly mudflows, and then the pandemic. The students were forced to complete their final semester virtually and an in-person Commencement was put on hold. 

While other universities and colleges held virtual or drive-through ceremonies, Westmont officials pledged to hold an in-person Commencement to celebrate the graduates.

Marcus ‘Goodie’ Goodloe, a Martin Luther King Jr. scholar, senior fellow for ethics and justice at Dallas Baptist University’s Institute for Global Engagement and a member of the Westmont Parents Council, will speak at Commencement.

The program includes student reflections by Hendrik Struik and Odile Ndayishimiye Uwineza.

The provost’s office will give the Faculty Scholarship Award to Nathan Tudor, who earned a 4.0 GPA while earning a degree in religious studies at Westmont. Edee Schulze, vice president for student life, will deliver the Dean’s, Dave Dolan and Kenneth Monroe Awards to outstanding graduates. 

To celebrate the class of 2020’s one-year reunion, the Alumni Office will hold a Cap and Gown Pickup Party, with graduates and professors gathering Friday night under the tent on Carr Field. Designed to feel like the Senior Celebration, the event includes a DJ, raffles and food. Later, the evening will shift to a time of worship led by musicians from the class.

On Saturday afternoon, Homecoming 2020/2021 will feature a children’s fair, a young alumni tailgate, men’s and women’s soccer games, and the annual All-Alumni Awards Celebration. This year’s awardees are Alumnus of the Year Reggie Williams ’95, Alumna of the Year Sharon Koh ‘00, Young Alumnus of the Year Daniel Guzman ‘12 and Global Service Award winner Michael Trueblood.


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