MERCED, Calif. — Merced College announced today (March 22) that it will hold in-person commencement ceremonies in May for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, under a plan approved by Merced County Public Health officials.

 Multiple ceremonies will be held to ensure small crowds and sufficient space for social distancing. Commencement is currently scheduled for May 21, but additional dates might be used.

 Graduates from the Class of 2020 were recognized during a virtual commencement ceremony last year, but will be given the opportunity to cross the stage in person this year. Students will be notified of the dates, times, number of guests allowed, and other guidelines once details are finalized by campus administration.

 This marks the first of what will be many reopening efforts by Merced College, which is expected to resume some face-to-face courses for the Summer and Fall 2021 terms in keeping with public health guidance.

 “We are so pleased to be able to offer an in-person commencement celebration for our graduates, who have persevered through remarkable circumstances in pursuit of a brighter future for themselves, their families and communities,” President Chris Vitelli said. “As we continue to plan for a safe and healthy return to classes and other campus operations, it’s fitting that we first take this moment to recognize our newest alumni and celebrate their many successes.”


Merced College does not discriminate, and prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

 Media Contact: James Leonard,, 209-681-1061