Due to ongoing safety concerns related to COVID-19, we regret to inform you that Ridgewater College will not be hosting in-person commencement ceremonies in May. We recognize this is disappointing news for everyone involved; however, a commencement event with large numbers of graduates and their families and friends is simply not feasible given the current state COVID-19 restrictions on large group events, even with the recent adjustments in event guidelines.
We recognize the importance of having some form of commencement event, so we have developed an alternate plan to help our graduating students celebrate the completion of their course of study. The plan includes three components:
- Virtual/Livestreamed Commencement Ceremony
- “Celebrate our Graduates” Drive-In Movie Event
- Graduation Celebration Package
We hope every graduating Ridgewater student will find a safe and appropriate way to celebrate the achievement of their educational goals. We appreciate their trust in Ridgewater College and thank all of our students for sticking with us through these challenging times.
We wish the best to all of our 2021 graduates as they move on to the next stage of their journey to career and life success!
Virtual/Livestreamed Commencement Ceremony
We will host a virtual/livestreamed commencement ceremony for each campus for any graduating student who wishes to participate. This event will utilize interactive technology and will be livestreamed on the following dates and times:
Hutchinson 2021 Virtual Graduation Ceremony
Thursday, May 13, 2021
3:00 pm Livestream Start Time
Questions? Contact Heather Marcus
Willmar 2021 Virtual Graduation Ceremony
Friday, May 14, 2021
3:00 pm Livestream Start Time
Questions? Contact Angela Haas
Students who wish to participate should check their Ridgewater email for important directions on how to sign up to participate in this event. The deadline to submit your photo to participate in the virtual ceremony is Friday, April 16, 2021. Participating students will receive information and links to share with anyone who they want to attend virtually to watch and celebrate their graduation. A recording of the virtual livestream event will also be available for download to share with others and save as a keepsake. Use the buttons below to submit your photo and information:
HUTCHINSON VIRTUAL CEREMONY SUBMISSION FORM WILLMAR VIRTUAL CEREMONY SUBMISSION FORM
Items of Note:
- You will still be featured in the virtual ceremony if you don’t submit your photo as long as you submitted the Graduation Application by Friday, April 16, 2021. However, you will not get your own dedicated slide and your name will not be read verbally if you don’t submit your photo. Rather, you will be part of a large list of graduates.
- If you completed an Authorization to Withhold Directory Information form telling us not to release your name, you will not be included in the virtual ceremony automatically. If you’re unsure if you filled this form out, check the Graduate List. If your name isn’t on the Graduate List, you either didn’t fill out a Graduation Application or you filled out the Authorization to Withhold Directory Information form.
- Graduation caps and gowns are not required for the virtual ceremony photos. However, if you would still like a cap and gown, you may purchase them at the Ridgewater College Bookstore.
“Celebrate our Graduates” Drive-In Movie Event
Our Student Life team will host a “Celebrate our Graduates” drive-in movie event for all interested graduating students. This free double-feature movie event will be open to all graduating students and their classmates, friends, and family.
Free Drive-In Movie
Movie Starts at Dusk
Here’s how to participate:
- Arrive before dusk on Thursday, May 13, 2021, with your guests in your vehicle.
- No sign-up or tickets needed prior to the event! Just show your student ID at the gate to gain FREE admission for your entire vehicle. (If you do not have your student ID, request one online here.)
- Enjoy the show!
To find out what movies are playing, please check the Starlite Drive-In’s Facebook page or website closer to the date of the event. Student Life will also share information via Ridgewater email on what movies are showing at least one week prior to the event.
Graduation Celebration Package
Each graduate will receive a graduation celebration package shortly after all Spring Semester grades are posted and degrees are printed.
Graduation Package Pickup:
June 07-11, 2021
8:00 am-4:30 pm
Front Desk on Each Campus
Come to the front desk on your campus to pick up your Graduation Celebration Package. You will need to show either your driver’s license or student ID to pick up your package. Your campus is determined by what you put on your graduation application. Any packages not picked up during this timeframe will be mailed the following week.
If you complete the Graduation Application by May 14, 2021, you will automatically receive a Graduation Celebration Package including the following items:
- Your Degree, Diploma, and/or Certificate
- Diploma Cover
- Honor Regalia (if earned)
- 2021 Ridgewater College Tassel from the Student Senate
- Alumni Window Decal from the Ridgewater Foundation
- Letter from the President