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Caruso School of Law Commencement

The Caruso School of Law Class of 2022 commencement Ceremony will be May 20, 2022. 

General Information

Class of 2022

Date: Friday, May 20, 2022
Time: 9:30 AM (graduates should arrive by 8:30 AM)
Location: Alumni Park

As this is an outdoor ceremony, sunblock, sunglasses, and hats are recommended for sun-sensitive guests. There is limited shaded seating. Here is the Malibu Campus Map for your reference.

Area hotel information including Pepperdine discounts is available on our Malibu Area Hotels page.

Safety

All who attend the ceremonies—graduates, faculty, staff, guests, and others—must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times. Except in special designated areas, attendees must maintain appropriate physical distancing between attendees not from their household.

Livestream

Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed. The link to the live stream will be posted on this page in advance of the ceremonies.

Related Celebrations

Information Forthcoming

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  When is the Class of 2020 commencement ceremony?

The Class of 2020 commencement ceremony will take place Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 9:30AM in Alumni Park.

  What graduates are considered part of the Class of 2020?

Students in the juris doctor, Straus, or online programs who completed their requirements in fall 2019, spring 2020, and summer 2020.

  When is the Class of 2021 commencement ceremony?

The Class of 2021 commencement ceremony will take place Friday, May 21, 2021 at 9:30AM in Alumni Park.

  What graduates are considered part of the Class of 2021?

Students in the juris doctor, Straus, or online programs who completed their requirements in fall 2020, spring 2021, and summer 2021. Final commencement attendance is contingent upon successful completion of the program.

  A classmate forwarded the graduation email to me; I did not receive it directly. How do I make sure I receive these important communications?

It is likely the email went to your Pepperdine email account. Please be sure to check your Pepperdine email so you do not miss any further official communication regarding commencement and/or refer to this webpage, which will be updated on a regular basis.

  Is commencement only for California residents?

No. All graduates can attend, including out-of-state graduates. Out-of-state visitors, however, must prove they are vaccinated to be admitted on campus.

  Can I buy plane tickets? Make hotel reservations?

Yes. The date and time is now set.

  Is there a Pepperdine rate at local hotels?

Several area hotels offer discounts for Pepperdine guests. Please see our list of hotels. Pepperdine discounts are noted where available.

  What will the in-person commencement ceremonies at Alumni Park look like?

The president and provost will host commencement ceremonies to confer the degrees of our graduates at Alumni Park overlooking the ocean. Socially distanced ceremonies will take place at a limited capacity. Masks will be required for all guests and attendees. The ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 21 at 9:30 AM for the Class of 2021 and Saturday, May 22 at 9:30 AM for the Class of 2020. Students will receive a link to claim their guest tickets (2 per graduate) no later than May 7. Guest seating will be in the bleachers.

  What will take place at the in-person commencement ceremonies?

The president, provost and dean will present and confer degrees at this ceremony. Remarks will be given by the commencement speaker. Graduates will have the opportunity to process across the stage, hear their name announced, receive their diploma covers, and have photos taken.

  How do I sign up to attend the in-person commencement ceremonies at Alumni Park?

All graduating students will receive an email with the RSVP link. Due to state regulations, all graduates must RSVP to attend. Free guest tickets will be available to claim online starting on May 7. Graduates will be allowed to invite two guests each.

  I am a graduate who resides out of state. Can I attend my in-person ceremony?

Yes. Out-of-state graduates are permitted to attend, whether or not they are fully vaccinated. All graduates must RSVP to attend. The State of California has determined that guests who live out of state may attend commencement ceremonies provided they are fully vaccinated; graduates are limited to two guests due to social distancing requirements.

  Do graduates who are from out of state need to be vaccinated to attend?

No. All Pepperdine graduates are considered in-state residents by the State of California and do not need to be vaccinated to attend commencement. All graduates must complete their wellness check online prior to their arrival to campus.

  What do I need to bring to the ceremonies?

In accordance with state and county directives, all guests age 16 and older will be required to present a state-issued identification (e.g., driver's license or similar) that indicates their state of residence in order to gain entry to the commencement ceremony.  All guests who are not residents of California will be required to present a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or a photo of their card evidencing their fully-vaccinated status.
It is also recommended that you bring sunscreen and hats as sun-sensitive seating areas will be extremely limited.

  What parking is available?

On-campus parking is available at locations marked on the campus parking map, on campus streets, and at the Drescher Graduate Campus on Via Pacifica. Shuttles will be in service, available at any marked campus shuttle stop. Special parking arrangements have been made for guests with special accessibility needs at convenient locations. For more information, contact the Department of Public Safety at the information booths or call 310.506.4700.

  Will there be concessions available?

Due to the current county guidelines, there will not be concessions available at the ceremony but water bottles will be made available for all guests.

   What if I am unable to attend?

All graduates who are unable to participate in their May commencement ceremony due to hardship will be eligible to participate in the Caruso Law commencement ceremony in 2022.

  Will the ceremonies be broadcast for those unable to attend?

Yes, for those who cannot join us in Malibu, all in-person activities will be broadcast online, live, and on demand for future viewing. The link will be available on the commencement website.

  What if I am unable to attend due to religious observances?

Any student who, due to a religious observance, cannot attend the graduation ceremony for their class year may choose to participate in the graduation ceremony for any other class year. Thus, for example, students who cannot participate in the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 22, due to observance of the Jewish Sabbath, may choose instead to participate in the Class of 2021 graduation ceremony on Friday, May 21. If you would like to select this option, please contact Vice Dean Naomi Goodno.

  Do I need to attend the in-person commencement ceremonies at Alumni Park to have my degree conferred?

No, graduates do not need to attend to have their degree conferred.

  Will my name be called if I cannot attend in person?

Yes. All graduate names will be read at the ceremony, whether they are able to attend or not.


Guests

  Will I be able to invite guests to attend?

Los Angeles County Public Health Department density restrictions require graduates to have no more than two guests. Friends and family at home can watch live on our virtual platform. Graduates must RSVP and must claim tickets for their guests through our online ticketing platform, which will be available on May 7.

  How do I register my two guests?

You will receive an email by May 7 inviting you to register your two guests. When acquiring tickets, you will be required to indicate the vaccination status and/or residence of your guests which will also be verified upon entry to the commencement ceremony.

  Do children count towards my two guests?

Children over two years old will require their own ticket and seat. Any child under two years old must be seated on the ticket holder's lap during the event.

  What are the requirements for guests who reside in California?

The State of California has determined that guests who live out of state may attend commencement ceremonies provided they are fully vaccinated; graduates are limited to two guests due to social distancing requirements. Guests will need to indicate their state residency and vaccination status upon acquiring tickets and upon entry to the commencement ceremony.

  What qualifies as fully vaccinated?

An individual is considered fully vaccinated (1) two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g., Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) or (2) two weeks or more after they have received a single dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson / Janssen).

  Can my guest get an exception to the vaccination requirements?

Unfortunately, no. While we would love to consider exceptions to allow certain individuals to attend commencement ceremonies, exceptions are not allowed under the current protocols. We also encourage anyone who has questions about the protocols the University is following to call Pepperdine's COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or to contact us by email at covid19info@pepperdine.edu.

  What do guests need to bring to the ceremonies?

In accordance with state and county directives, all guests age 16 and older will be required to present a state-issued identification (e.g., driver's license or similar) that indicates their state of residence in order to gain entry to the commencement ceremony. All guests who are not residents of California will be required to present a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or a photo of their card evidencing their fully-vaccinated status.
It is also recommended that you bring sunscreen and hats as sun-sensitive seating areas will be extremely limited.

  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.
  What documentation is needed for a guest who is in the military and stationed in California but does not have a California ID?

Residents of California who 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.


Out-of-State Guests

  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.

  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.
  If I am out of California and would like to bring a minor (under 18) as a guest, do they need to be vaccinated?

Yes. The state guidelines for guests to attend from out of state stipulate that all guests traveling from outside of California must show proof of being fully vaccinated (2 weeks past their final shot) to attend, regardless of age.

  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.


Special Celebrations

  Will the 3L Graduation Breakfast be taking place this year?

The 3L Graduation Breakfast tradition will go on in a modified format. The celebration will take place on Thursday, May 20, at 10 AM. The specific location will be announced on this webpage.

  Will Baccalaureate take place this year?

Yes, in advance of this year's commencement ceremonies, the baccalaureate ceremony (traditional Christian worship service) for JD graduates of both classes will be held at 7 PM on Thursday, May 20, outdoors on campus. Special celebrations for smaller groups are also being planned.

  Will the Straus programs have special celebrations?

Yes.

The Straus LLM and MDR celebration will take place online via Zoom on Monday, May 17, 2021 at noon.
All Straus students completing their MDR or LLM during spring or summer 2021 are invited to attend along with any family members who would enjoy participating in the celebration. Individual invitations will be sent out the week of May 7 with more information.

The Straus Certificate celebration will take place online via Zoom on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 4 PM.
All Straus, JD, and Seaver students completing their certificate during spring or summer 2021 are invited to attend along with any family members who would enjoy participating in the celebration. Individual invitations will be sent out on May 7 with more information.


Regalia

  Do I need to wear regalia for the in-person Commencement ceremonies?

Yes. Graduates must plan to arrive at Alumni Park dressed in regalia no later than 8:30 AM. Please refer to this hooding tutorial:

  What regalia should I be wearing based on the degree I am receiving?

Everyone will have a tam (hat) and tassel plus a gown and hood(s) according to the degree(s) conferred:

Juris Doctorate: Doctorate gown (black with purple felt),  Juris Doctorate hood (purple w/ blue & orange on inside)
Juris Doctorate/Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) joint degree: Doctorate gown (black with purple felt), Juris Doctorate & Masters hoods
Master of Laws (LLM): Doctorate (black with purple felt), LLM hood (lavender)
MDR or Master of Legal Studies: Masters gown (black), Masters hood (white)

  Can I wear a stole?

Unfortunately, the University does not permit graduate degree stoles for commencement.

  Who can I contact if I have questions regarding regalia?

Please send an email to Brianna Ku.

  Am I allowed to come to campus and take pictures in my regalia?

No. The university has partnered with Grad Images to provide our graduates with a safe and easy option for graduation photos that will be taken following the receiving of your diploma.


Diplomas and Program

  If I am a May 2021 graduate, when will I get my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed to your permanent address approximately six weeks after degrees are conferred on May 21.

  Will my name be in my class's commencement printed program?

How do I get my diploma cover if I cannot attend in person?

  Diploma covers will be mailed to all graduates who cannot attend in person.

If you have confirmed that your graduation requirements have been met, and submitted your information to your program, your name will appear in the program.

  How do I get a copy of my class's commencement printed program?

The commencement printed program will be handed out to students and guests at the in-person ceremonies at Alumni Park. You will also be able to download a copy of the program from the commencement website.


Online Program Students

  I am a dual degree student in an online program. Why am I getting a notification about graduation now when I am not ready to complete the dual degree?

Because you completed your first degree. Congratulations! You're welcome to walk in graduation for your first degree and come back for your second. If you prefer to wait, that's fine too. Please note this ability to walk in multiple graduations is only available to dual degree students.

  I am a dual degree student. Am I able to have both my MDR (2020) and MLS (2021) announced on the same day? 

Both your degrees will be listed but we cannot guarantee at this time that your degree will be read.

  Can I attend the other ceremony if I am unable to attend the one scheduled for my class?

Please use this form to make that request (online program graduates only). Please note that we need to collect all requests by next Friday, May 7, 2021 so Vice Dean Naomi Goodno can review and respond in a timely manner. 


International Students

  Can international students attend the in-person commencement ceremonies?

International students currently located abroad should work with the Office of International Student Services to review potential visa and US entry challenges involved with such travel. All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States. Please check back often for updates.


Please contact Vice Dean Naomi Goodno or Assistant Dean Chalak Richards if you have any questions. We also encourage anyone who has questions about the protocols the University is following to call Pepperdine's COVID-19 Information Line at 310.506.8111 or to contact us by email at covid19info@pepperdine.edu.