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Commencement Office CARmencement 2021

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2021 FAQs

What are my celebration options in 2021?

Graduates can participate in the graduation celebrations in a number of ways:

  1. Attend CARmencement
    Register between March 1 and April 1 (at noon) to participate in the CARmencement event on campus, starting May 21, 2021. Drive through campus with your COVID bubble buddies, view speeches, wave to faculty and staff, and collect your Hornet Grad Kit (which includes (2) programs and other Sac State commemorative items). When you register you also have the option to create a graduate slide for the Virtual Celebration webpages.
  2. Participate in the Virtual Celebration
    Register between March 1 and April 26 (at 11:00 a.m.) to participate in the Virtual Celebration, where graduates can create personalized Grad Slides with a photo and personal message. These slides will be displayed on the Virtual Celebration webpages, alongside a livestream of the CARmencement event, a social media wall, and more! Grads who register for this option before April 1 (at noon), can also select to receive a Hornet Grad Kit.
  3. Receive a Hornet Grad Kit
    For those grads who cannot or wish not to participate in the CARmencement event or the Virtual Celebration, you can still register to receive a Hornet Grad Kit, which will contain (2) programs and other Sac State commemorative items. The window to register for this option will be March 1 - April 1 (at noon).

Before the Event (FAQs)

Does the celebration replace commencement for both the classes of 2020 and 2021?

Yes. Due to COVID restrictions, in-person commencement ceremonies are simply not possible.

Who can participate in the celebration?

This celebration is for the class of 2020 and 2021. Only graduates with an expected graduation term of Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021 who have applied to graduate will be allowed to RSVP and attend the event.

Do I need to RSVP online if I plan to participate?

Yes. Registration is mandatory in order to participate. The deadline to RSVP is April 1 at noon. Registration is available via a link in the Student Center for eligible graduates.

Will a portion of my grad fee be refunded?

Yes. The $48.50 that usually goes towards Commencement will be automatically reimbursed to all eligible 2020 and 2021 graduates (Fall 2019, Spring/Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring/Summer 2021 grads who paid their fee). The refund is expected to be issued by late April, 2021. Students are encouraged to sign up for eRefund for a quick direct deposit. Graduates with questions regarding their refund status may contact the Bursar's Ofice at starting in May, 2021.

What is the deadline to petition to graduate?

Undergraduate students should go to the Graduation Advising webpage for information on applying to graduate.

Graduate students must apply to graduate through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Teaching Credential Candidates should contact their college coordinator, Debbie Santiago (916-278-3618 -or- with any questions.

I am graduating next academic year… can I participate in this year’s celebrations?

No. Only graduates with an expected graduation term of Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021 who have applied to graduate will be allowed to participate in 2021 celebrations this May. In order to accommodate the combined classes of 2020 and 2021, we cannot accept any requests to participate early.

Can 2020 and 2021 grads postpone and participate in the 2022 commencement instead?

Unfortunately, no. 2020 and 2021 graduates have been refunded the portion of their graduation fees that cover commencement because they will not be able to participate in 2022. The pandemic has forced the University to make many tough decisions, including this one.

Will my name still be printed in a Commencement program?

Yes! You will receive your program at the drive through celebration, or it can be mailed it to you if you are unable to attend. You must register for a Hornet Grad Kit in order to be mailed programs. Students will have access to register through a link in their student centers March 1 - April 1, 2021.

How do I verify my name will be in the Commencement program?

If your degree was awarded in Fall 2019, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020, your name will appear as of the date your degree was conferred.

If you are eligible for graduation in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, or Summer 2021 your name in your student center, as of March 29, 2021, will be included in the program.

Otherwise, your name will not be included. If you have changed your name since applying for graduation, please contact the Registrar’s Office at to update your student record.

How do I change my name or use my preferred name for the event?

Student names will be pulled from their Student Center (including preferred name, primary name, and diploma name). During the registration process, students will have the option of selecting which name they prefer to be read aloud, and which name they would like displayed on the screen during CARmencement.

Students can update their preferred name in their student center. Click here for step-by-step instructions on changing preferred names. Once graduates have completed the process of changing their preferred name, they must log back into the ticketing/RSVP system to assure the name change has updated.

I graduated with the Class of 2020 (fall 2019, spring 2020, summer 2020), do I have to do anything to make sure my name is in the program?

No. If you graduated with the Class of 2020 and your degree has been awarded, your name will be included in the Commencement program.

How can I see if my degree has been awarded?

You can find your degree on your unofficial transcript within your student center.

Will I receive anything in addition to the Commencement program when I arrive?

Yes! Graduates will receive a Hornet Grad Kit to commemorate the unique drive-through CARmencement experience. Grad Kits will contain (2) programs and other Sac State goodies.

Can I get the Grad Kit if I do not attend?

Yes! Eligible graduates can sign up for a Hornet Grad Kit by registering through the link in their student center. The deadline to register is April 1, 2021 at noon.

Is it possible to RSVP for a day/time and claim tickets, then upload my photo and message for my Grad Slide later?

Yes! The deadline to RSVP and claim tickets for CARmencement is April 1, 2021, so eligible grads should log in as soon as possible to claim their timeslot and ticket. They can log back in at a later date to upload or update their Grad Slide photo and message. Photos and messages can be updated anytime before April 26, 2021 at 11:00 a.m.

How does the Student Conduct Code apply to the celebration?

Students participating must comply with the Student Conduct Code, including policies on public intoxication and alcohol. The celebration is an alcohol-free event. For the safety of everyone participating, staff will deny entry to any student or drivers who appears intoxicated. Students removed for intoxication or possession of alcohol will also be referred to Student Affairs, and those suspected of driving under the influence will be reported to the Sacramento State Police Department.

I'm a double-major. Can I participate in multiple CARmencement timeslots?

No. Students with multiple majors will automatically be granted access to RSVP, and participate in one timeslot.

How do I get a letter for my family's visiting visas?

Please contact the Office of International Programs and Global Engagement for more information on visiting visas and letters.

Who do I contact if I need accommodations for a disability at the event?

All pre-recorded speeches displayed along the route will include captions and ASL interpreters. Video live-streams will also be available on the Commencement Website. Participating students who need specific accommodations should contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office at

How do I order graduation announcements and class rings?

Balfour graduation announcement and class ring samples as well as pricing and ordering information are available at the Hornet Bookstore. Place your order online by visiting or by using Balfour’s toll-free number, (877) 225–3687.

Where can I purchase Sac State alumni merchandise?

The Hornet Bookstore offers a variety of grad and alumni items including diploma frames, diploma covers, apparel, hats, drink ware, license plate frames and gift items. Shop in-store or for your convenience you can shop online at Store hours may vary; check our website or phone 916-278-5701 for more information.

Where do I get my cap, gown, tassel and hood?

You may purchase regalia online at To find out if you are receiving academic honors and purchase an honor cord, please email after April 1st. If you are a 2020 graduate you can email Jean now.

What if I do not have access to a vehicle?

Very limited accommodations may be provided for those graduates who do not have access to a vehicle for the parade. After graduates register, they must contact the Commencement Office at and indicate that they do not have access to a vehicle.

What if I do not want to participate in CARmencement?

CARmencement is completely optional, but for those eligible grads who do not or cannot participate in the event, there are multiple other ways to get involved.

  1. RSVP to participate in the Virtual Graduation Celebration. RSVP for this option opens March 1 and closes April 26, 2021. Upload a photo and a personal message to be included in an online celebration page, stream the CARmencement parade and other important speeches and videos, get access to your personal, downloadable graduate slide, and more!
  2. Sign up for a Hornet Grad Kit, delivered straight to your door! Graduates can register to receive a Hornet Grad Kit, which will contain (2) Commencement Programs and other Sac State goodies. Registration for this option will be available March 1 - April 1, 2021.

Event-Day (FAQs)

What day/time is the celebration?

Graduates can select from multiple days and timeslots when they register to attend the event. Graduates should confirm that their Grad Pass reflects the correct/preferred timeslot after they register, as it will also display their selected timeslot.

What time should I arrive?

Graduates should plan to arrive at the time they selected, which will also be reflected on their Grad Pass (Ticket).

What should I bring?

All graduates are required to bring their Sac State OneCard and their Grad Vehicle Pass. If graduates do not have a OneCard, a valid picture ID (driver's license or passport) will suffice.

For safety, sustainability, and security reasons, certain items are prohibited from being brought to the celebration such as balloons, silly string, confetti, and alcohol. Graduates must adhere to the Student Conduct Code during the event.

What is the celebration route?

The celebration route will begin at the south side of campus on College Town Drive (near the Alumni Center) and wind through campus.

How long will the celebration last?

The entire route should take roughly one hour, from start to finish. All vehicles will follow the same one-way route.

Can I go through the celebration route more than once or multiple days?

No. Grad Passes with individual QR codes will only be redeemable once for entry onto the route.

Can I drive myself?

Graduates can drive themselves, but we highly recommend that graduates experience the drive through celebration as a passenger, so they can focus on the celebration fully.

What types of vehicles will be permitted?

No bicycles or motorcycles will be permitted onto the route. Convertibles will be allowed, but passengers are encouraged to wear masks at all times. All vehicles must be under 11 feet tall and under 30 feet long (updated from 20 feet long).

Can me or my guests ride in the bed of a pickup truck?

No. All California Road Laws must be followed while on the route.

Are motorcycles, bicycles and/or golf carts allowed?


Can I decorate my vehicle?

Yes! Participants are encouraged to decorate their vehicles (while complying with all California laws). The Student Code of Conduct applies to this event, and no obscenities will be allowed.

Will my name be read aloud at the celebration?

Yes. When graduates RSVP for the event they will be granted a Grad Pass. This is the ticket into the event and also what is scanned in order for them to be individually recognized. It is recommended that the Grad Pass be printed and displayed on your dashboard.

Can I wear my cap and gown?

Yes, but it is not required.

Can I purchase a cap and gown on site?

No. There will be no sales of any kind on the day of the celebration. Grads wishing to purchase regalia prior to the celebration may do so at

Can my family and friends stand along the celebration route?

No. Only faculty and staff members and university employees who have been approved may stand along the celebration route. Faculty and staff will maintain appropriate social distance and wear face coverings. A live stream of the celebration will be available at

Who will be along the route?

Sac State faculty, staff, and leadership will be there to cheer you on – while following social distancing measures, wearing appropriate face coverings, and following strict event guidelines. Only employees will be allowed to line the celebration route. Due to safety, guests, community members, and students will not be allowed to stand along the route. The celebration will be live streamed at

Who is allowed in my vehicle?

Only members of the graduate's immediate household (COVID bubble) should be in the vehicle. Please adhere to all California driving laws. Every person in the vehicle must have a fastened seatbelt while in motion. 

Can my friends and/or family follow in another vehicle?

No. Only one vehicle is allowed per graduate. Guests from the same household unit may join a graduate in their one vehicle. Safety laws still apply (including vehicle maximum occupancy, speed limits, seatbelt laws, etc.)

Can I stop to greet faculty or staff along the route or to take pictures?

No. You must remain in your vehicle at all times and faculty/staff must maintain appropriate social distance from your vehicle.

Can I stop and exit my vehicle at any time during the celebration?

No. Participants must remain in their vehicle at all times.

Will restrooms be available?

Yes. Portable Restrooms will be accessable prior to entering the main route. Face coverings, social distancing, and all other COVID safety guidelines must be followed while utilizing the restrooms.

Where can I get a commencement program?

Two (2) program booklets will be distributed to graduates when they check in to the event.

Will photos or videos be taken?

  • Yes, photographs and/or video will be taken during the course of this event for use in Sacramento State publicity materials.

  • The entire event will be live-streamed.

  • The Alumni Association is offering professional portrait sessions by Grad Images on May 3 and 4, 2021. Sign up for a photo session here!

  • There will also multiple photo locations around campus, where graduates can take advantage of prior to or after the celebration days.

When will I receive my diploma?

Allow four to six months for the completion of a degree evaluation, after which time diplomas will be mailed to the address listed on file in your student center. If you have any questions regarding diplomas, please visit the Graduation Advising webpage or contact the Registrar's office at (916) 278-3625.

Will concessions be available at the event?

No. Graduates and guests can bring their own food or snacks to the event, but food must be consumed inside their own vehicles. Please keep all trash inside vehicles and dispose of it offsite. Please help us keep campus beautiful and do not litter along the route.

Health & Safety (FAQs)

What if my car breaks down or there is an emergency?

Emergency vehicles and tow trucks will be available onsite.

Is it safe to participate in the celebration?

The safety of our students, faculty, staff and guests is our highest priority. We have coordinated with health officials to ensure that all safety guidelines and regulations are followed.

Do I have to wear a face covering while in my vehicle?

Graduates and guests are not required to wear masks or face coverings while in their enclosed vehicle, although may do so. However, any time windows are rolled down or you are interacting with staff (for instance during check-in) then masks will be mandatory.

Can I roll my windows down while on the route?

Yes. Vehicle windows may be rolled down. Masks are always encouraged when windows are down and are mandatory while interacting with staff and volunteers.

Will the celebration comply with health and safety regulations?

Yes. We are coordinating with health officials, who are guiding us in our efforts to host this event.

Faculty & Staff FAQs

Download the Faculty & Staff FAQ sheet!