Graduates in both the Classes of 2020 and 2021 are eligible to return to Malibu for their commencement ceremony due to new guidance issued by the State of California and affirmed by the Los Angeles County of Public Health. Pepperdine students who were required to travel outside of California due to the COVID-19 pandemic are considered in-state residents for the purposes of participation in commencement ceremonies, and they are not subject to current restrictions and limitations on non-California residents. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 AM in Alumni Park and will be held jointly to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of both classes. Graduates will be granted six (6) tickets for guests and attendance of guests is limited to regulations outlined by state and county regulators (See Guest Information).
Graduates will register all guests and should have available all guest's names, mobile phone numbers, emails, and residency and vaccination information prior to beginning the registration process. Registration closed on May 9, 2021.
By registering to attend this event you are agreeing to abide by the Pepperdine University COVID-19 safety protocols which include but are not limited to the following:
- Face masks are required to be worn over the mouth and nose while attending commencement at Pepperdine University. Masks may be briefly removed while seated to eat and drink before being replaced.
- Commencement participants are required to remain 6' apart from anyone not in their own household.
- Attendees must not come if they are experiencing cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, or if they are under current isolation or quarantine orders.
- Attendees should remain in their seats throughout the ceremony except for visits to the restroom.
Frequently Asked Questions
My guests are from different households or we have family coming from different states, where do they sit?
Seating groups will be in rows and are limited to a total of six (6) persons made up of a maximum of three (3) household units.
Are other exceptions available for out-of-state guests to attend graduations if they are not fully vaccinated?
No. All out-of-state guests who wish to attend a commencement ceremony must be fully vaccinated. Additionally, Los Angeles County Public Health has indicated the following may not be used as exceptions to this requirement:
- I have a medical exemption and cannot receive the vaccine.
- I am a child younger than 16 and therefore not eligible for the vaccine.
- I have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90-days.
- I had COVID-19 and can show proof of immunity with antibody test results.
What if my guest lives in or moved to California but does not have a government-issued photo identification card, such as a driver's license, yet?
Residents of California that do not have government-issued photo identification from California should bring their local utility bill with their full name visible to verify their status as residents.
What documentation is needed for a guest who is in the military and stationed in California but does not have a California ID?
Are walk-ins welcomed?
No. Unregistered guests or those without proper identification will be turned away.
Will school IDs be acceptable for minors?
Per Los Angeles county guidelines, the identification does not need to be government-issued, only a photograph identification, which means a school ID would be acceptable as long as it contains a photograph.
What do we do if we lose our vaccination card while traveling to Malibu?
All out-of-state attendees should take a photo of their vaccination card with their phone. Paper vaccination cards or photographs of vaccination cards are both acceptable proof (name on vaccination card will need to match identification).
Is the seating area first come first serve or are the seats assigned?
Per county regulations, all seat locations will be assigned and communicated via email 24-hours in advance. Guests will be seated in six-person household groups with six feet of physical distance between each group. Guests must proceed to their seats upon arrival and remain seated for the duration of the ceremony.
If a small child can fit on a lap, can we invite another person?
Anyone under the age of two (2) does not need a ticket. If the child, from the same household, can sit on a lap then the graduate will have an extra ticket.
As a graduate, if I do not need all six (6) tickets for commencement, can I donate some to someone in my cohort?
Due to household limitations and assigned seating requirements, reissuing tickets will not be permitted.
What if a registered guest can no longer attend?
Please notify the School of Public Policy at email@example.com.
State and County Mandates
What guidance is Pepperdine University following to host graduation ceremonies?
Commencement ceremonies at Pepperdine must comply with California Department of Public Health and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health mandates, specifically the state's COVID-19 guidance for Commencement/Graduation Ceremonies and Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances, and the county's Protocol for Live Outdoor Events and Performances. The progression of applicable guidance and protocols is detailed below:
- The California Department of Public Health COVID-19 guidance for Commencement/Graduation Ceremonies applies to all ceremonies in California and links to the state's COVID-19 guidelines for Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances.
- California's COVID-19 guidance for Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances protocol stipulates only in-state spectators are permitted. According to this protocol, information will be prominently placed on all communications, including reservation and ticketing systems, to ensure guests are aware of reservation and ticketing requirements. At the time a guest purchases tickets, the University must obtain an attestation that the guest's block of seat reservations contains no more than three households and that the guest, as well as all members of the guest's party, will be in-state visitors.
- The state's COVID-19 guidance for Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances indicates events must comply with the county protocols in addition to the state protocols.
- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Protocol for Live Outdoor Events and Performances indicates fully vaccinated individuals coming from outside of California can attend events which are limited to in-state attendees only.
- Pepperdine also sought and received clarification from the state/county that students (but not students' families or guests) could be considered in-state residents for purposes of commencement.
Is Pepperdine creating the restrictions on out-of-state guests as a way to limit the number of attendees?
No. Restrictions are based on guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Pepperdine is actively working to include all of our graduates and as many guests as we are permitted to have at commencement ceremonies.
How has Pepperdine responded to these restrictions on out-of-state guests?
Throughout the pandemic, Pepperdine has petitioned L.A. County Public Health for adjustments to their protocols where appropriate. For example, the University petitioned to allow all graduates to attend commencement as in-state participants to which they agreed. Because the University wants to ensure that all graduates have the opportunity to participate in commencement, Pepperdine would not have held ceremonies this spring without this agreement.
According to the CDC, if someone is fully vaccinated, masks are not required. Therefore, can we take off our masks during the ceremony if we are fully vaccinated?
The County of Los Angeles guidance requires that all large/densely-populated outdoor events require masks. All attendees will wear a face mask over the mouth and nose while attending commencement at Pepperdine University. Masks may be briefly removed while seated to eat and drink before being replaced.
Logistics and Accommodations
If I cannot attend the ceremony, will I be recognized?
The names of all graduates will be read during the commencement ceremony. All graduates precluded from participating in the ceremony will be eligible to participate in the SPP commencement ceremony in 2022.
Will the commencement ceremony be live-streamed for those unable to attend?
Yes. The commencement ceremony will be live-streamed for guests who are unable to attend. The URL for the live stream will be provided on the commencement website.
Can the graduates keep the regalia?
Graduation regalia rentals including the cap, gown, hood, and tassel will be provided by SPP for all students participating in commencement ceremonies. Regalia will be available the day of the ceremony at Alumni Park and students should plan to arrive no later than 9:30 am to allow for robing and lineup. Tassels and caps may be kept by the student. The gown and hood must be returned at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Will there be water, food, or snacks available for purchase before or after the ceremony?
Due to strict Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance on food and drink for outdoor venues, the School of Public Policy will provide bottled water under each chair at the graduation ceremony. Additional bottled water will be available at a station at the ceremony site. There will be no concessions sold at the ceremony.
Will there be a shuttle or golf cart to assist guests who are unable to walk far distances?
Students registering their guests should make a notation of any attendee who require mobility-related accommodations.
Do guests need a parking pass?
Parking passes are not required. When guests arrive at the campus they will go through a health screening at the guard booth and will then be directed to designated graduation parking.
Are there hotels in the area where we can get a Pepperdine affiliated discount if we need to stay the entire weekend?
Please reference Pepperdine's Around Malibu website. The Villa Graziadio Executive Center will not be available.