Sac State announces drive-through commencement for 2020 and 2021 graduates

Graduation fees will be refunded


Emily Rabasto

Students attending the Spring 2018 commencement ceremony held at Golden 1 Center join Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen in a ‘Stingers up’ salute after his address on May 18, 2018. Nelsen announced an on-campus, drive-through commencement for the 2020 and 2021 graduating classes Monday in a SacSend email.

Robert J. Hansen

Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen announced an on-campus, drive-through commencement called “CARmencement” for the 2020 and 2021 graduating classes beginning May 21 in a SacSend email to students and faculty Monday. 

“Last year, I committed to in-person ceremonies to celebrate the classes of 2020 and 2021. At the time, I fully believed we would be celebrating at Golden 1 Center this May, but that is not possible,” Nelsen said in his email. “I made a promise to our graduates that we could not keep.”

Nelsen said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the university from celebrating commencement in person.

“In light of the ongoing danger related to COVID-19, we will not, and cannot, risk holding large, formal, in-person commencement ceremonies in the near future. Not even outdoors,” Nelsen said in his email.

Nelsen said commencement will include music, gifts for Sac State graduates and COVID-safe interaction with faculty and staff. 

Only one car is allowed per graduate and only people from the graduate’s immediate household should be in the vehicle, according to Sac State’s commencement website. The deadline to RSVP for the commencement is March 31 at 10 a.m. according to the website. A live stream of the celebration will be available at for anyone unable to attend.

Because the commencement will take place on campus, the portion of graduation fees that cover the commencement ceremony, $48, will be automatically refunded to graduates from fall 2019 though summer 2021 by the end of April.

According to Nelsen’s email, graduates need to enroll in eRefund and ensure that their mailing address is current in the Student Center to receive the $48 refund, which will be automatically processed. 

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Students applying to graduate in 2021 who have not yet paid their graduation application fees will only be charged the portion of the fee that goes toward their diploma, which is $28, according to the email.

Students should check their Sac State email in the coming days for invitations to virtual sessions being held next month to answer graduation questions, according to Nelsen. 

The session for graduates and guests is Friday, March 5 at 2 p.m. and the session for faculty and staff is Wednesday, March 10 at 3 p.m.

Nelsen said any questions about commencement can be sent to [email protected].