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Better late than never, South Coast college announces plans for 2020 in-person commencement ceremony

Caleb Jones
Westmont College
Westmont College is going to have the postponed commencement ceremony for its Class of 2020 October 16th. This photo is from a past ceremony.

Westmont College class had to overcome challenges like fires, floods, and the pandemic to make it to graduation.

It’s coming more than a year late, but a college class on the South Coast is finally going to have its in-person gradation. Westmont College had to cancel its 2020 ceremony because of the pandemic. But, the Montecito-based college is going to have its long-postponed event on October 16.

It won’t be open to the public, but about two thirds of the nearly 300 graduates are expected to attend. They’ll be able to bring up to four guests.

Westmont’s Class of 2020 faced a number of challenges. The 2017 Thomas fire forced Westmont’s evacuation. Then, the college had to be evacuated again in January of 2018 by the deadly Montecito debris flow. Finally, the coronavirus pandemic forced the senior class to finish its classes via Zoom.

Rather than having a virtual commencement ceremony, Westmont officials decided to wait until they could have an in-person event, which is now finally happening.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.