Commencement is a ceremony in which we celebrate the academic accomplishments of our student graduates. Skagit Valley College typically holds commencement ceremonies at the end of spring quarter each year at the Mount Vernon and Whidbey Island campuses, as well as the San Juan Center.
2020 Commencement Cancellation
Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, we are unable to hold these cherished events. However, graduates will be honored in alternative ways, and anyone eligible to walk in the 2020 Commencement can elect to return in June, 2021 and participate in next year’s Commencement.
President’s Message – 2020 Commencement Cancellation
I hope this message finds you healthy and well. As you know, Skagit Valley College continues to operate remotely in support of the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. I write this message to you regarding our 2020 Commencement ceremonies, originally scheduled for June in Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor, and Friday Harbor. We take very seriously our responsibility to care for students, employees, and members of the communities we serve, and any large gathering may put them at risk. After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Commencement activities.
Commencement is my favorite annual activity, and I share your disappointment in our inability to recognize our graduates on stage this year. Staff and faculty are creating alternative ways to celebrate and honor your accomplishments this year, which will include publications on our website, in the local newspaper, and keepsake grad packages. In addition, students who graduate this academic year will receive an invitation to participate in our Commencement ceremonies next year. Obviously, graduates will still receive recognition on their official transcript of the degree, certificate and/or diploma they have been working to attain. As is the practice every year, diplomas will be mailed later in the summer.
For those students who plan to graduate this spring or summer, we do ask you apply for graduation if you have not already, so we can ensure you receive your degree and diploma upon completion of your program.
While there are many uncertainties that remain today, I am certain of one thing: we have thousands of students who have achieved and excelled—and are continuing to do so—through their learning and engagement at SVC. Despite the challenges we face today and our inability to celebrate this spring at large gatherings such as Commencement, the accomplishments of our students remain a great source of pride among the faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees.
With very best wishes for a healthy, productive completion of your studies.
Dr. Thomas Keegan
President, Skagit Valley College
Commencement Cancellation FAQ
Please review the following questions regarding the 2020 Commencement Ceremonies. If you have additional questions please email [email protected].
How will SVC honor the 2019-2020 graduates without a ceremony?
We have hundreds of students who have achieved and excelled through their learning and engagement at SVC. Recognition of this achievement will continue as you graduate from your program of study. We will continue to award you the degree, certificate and/or diploma you have been working to attain and get it into your hands. You will receive the notation on your official transcript as part of your permanent record at SVC. In addition to your graduation, 2019-2020 graduates are invited to attend the 2020-2021 ceremonies in June 2021.
How did Skagit Valley College make this decision?
This was an extremely difficult decision to make and will be the first time SVC will not be hosting our Commencement Ceremonies. We want to be celebrating you in person, but the social responsibility we have, to care for our community, cannot be ignored. It is not safe for you, your families, your faculty or your support staff to host our ceremonies this year. An event of this size and complexity, cannot easily be rescheduled to a new date and we felt a virtual ceremony would not suffice. We hope you will join us next year June 2021 to honor your accomplishments appropriately!
Why are you making this decision in May instead of waiting until June?
Unfortunately, we have pushed this decision off as long as we could in hopes of better circumstances. Our Commencement Ceremonies draw crowds of thousands to our campuses. In order to avoid unexpected costs for your guests (airline tickets, hotel reservations, etc.), to provide you with information upfront and to keep our community safe, we needed to make this decision now.
Will I still graduate?
Graduation and Commencement are two different activities. Graduation is the process of being awarded a state-approved certificate or degree once all of the requirements for the program have been successfully completed. Commencement is the ceremony in which we honor your graduation accomplishments. So yes, as long as you meet the requirements and apply for graduation, you will graduate!
Will I still get my diploma?
If you apply for graduation, and successfully complete the requirements, you can expect to see your diploma in the mail about 12 weeks after your final grade has been posted, free of charge!
How do I receive the special graduation package?
Qualifying 2019 – 2020 graduates will receive a diploma cover, tassel, graduation cap and applicable honor cords in a special graduate package after finals week. You must submit a graduation application by May 22 to be included. We are still confirming pick up and/or shipping details, please check back for more information. You should also confirm we have a valid mailing address on file through the MySVC Portal.
How do I make sure you have my correct address?
Can I purchase Commencement regalia, such as a cap and gown?
Qualifying 2019 – 2020 graduates will receive a diploma cover, tassel, graduation cap and applicable honor cords in a special graduate package after finals week. We are still confirming pick up and/or shipping details, please check back for more information.
If you are interested in purchasing additional items please contact the Cardinal Bookstore at 360-416-7601.
How do I know if I am eligible for honors?
If you earned a college-level Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.8-4.0 by the end of Winter Quarter 2020, you will receive a gold cord for High Honors. If you earn a college-level GPA of 3.5-3.79 by the end of Winter Quarter 2020, you will receive a white cord for Honors.
How do I let you know I want to attend the 2020-2021 Commencement Ceremony?
We will reach out to the 2019-2020 graduates (Summer 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020 and Spring 2020) and automatically invite you! We expect to send out invites by April 2021 (or earlier), so plan to see more information then. Make sure you have a graduation application completed and you keep your email address updated with us after you graduate. You can email [email protected] at any time to make updates.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
Please email [email protected]. We will review your questions and respond within 48 business hours.