Students rejoice as De Anza adds in-person graduation event


Source: De Anza College

The De Anza College graduation ceremony now includes an in-person “red carpet grad photo opportunity” between June 15-18.

Graduating students can reserve time slots until June 8 to have their picture taken as they walk across the graduation stage and at other photo stations with creative backdrops.

While family members will be allowed to take photos with graduating students, group gatherings with instructors and other college employees are prohibited.

“Safety precautions will be in place,” said Marisa Spatafore, Associate Vice President of Communications and External Relations. “Everybody must strictly adhere to social distancing protocols and wear masks at all times.”

Spatafore said De Anza added the photo opportunity after students overwhelmingly supported an in-person graduation event in a survey.

“It was clear to us that the outdoor photo stations are something students are interested in,” said Spatafore. “70% of our respondents said yes — an extraordinary level of response.”

Students are happy with the addition.

DASG President Katelyn Pan said an in-person experience is meaningful for a soon-to-be graduate.

“It’s an amazing idea, especially if we can be compliant with COVID regulations,” Pan said. “Graduation is a huge event for our students, especially some who may not have had a traditional academic journey.”

Grace Lim, DASG Chair of Finance, said she’s spoken to many friends who expected an in-person graduation event now that Santa Clara County has reached the least-restrictive yellow tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

“It’s a great compromise between safety and recognition,” Lim said. “Graduating students want and deserve that.”

The main graduation event will still be hosted virtually, on the evening of June 25.