Brandman University Cancels All Eleven Commencement Events in California and Washington

March 27, 2020 by Brandman University

IRVINE, Calif. (March 27, 2020) – Brandman University today announced the cancellation of all eleven 2020 Commencement and hooding events due to the community imperative to reduce coronavirus transmissions in California and Washington, the states where the university’s ceremonies had been scheduled to take place.

“Commencement is an important milestone for our students, many of whom are veterans or working adults who have overcome many challenges on their road to a college degree,” Chancellor Gary Brahm said. “We realize this will be disappointing to many of our students, but the risk to public health is too great to go forward with plans for traditional celebrations at this time.”

Graduates will not experience any delays in receiving their diplomas as a result of ceremonies being cancelled.

Stay-at-home orders are presently in effect in California and Washington to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. These directives may or may not remain in force on the dates when Commencement events had been scheduled to take place. The university must prepare for the possibility that public gatherings may continue to be unsafe in the coming weeks and months, and announced cancellations at this time to provide sufficient notice for graduates and their loved ones to cancel travel arrangements.

Brandman’s eleven Commencement and hooding celebrations had been scheduled to begin on April 29. The university typically plans for both large and small ceremonies. Among the larger events are the Southern and Northern California ceremonies that are held, respectively, in Orange and Sacramento and attract hundreds of guests.

Smaller events include ceremonies held at several locations in Washington State, where many graduates are military personnel serving at nearby bases. Another ceremony takes place at Naval Air Station Lemoore and is exclusive to graduates and guests who are on active duty.

University leaders will now evaluate alternatives, such as virtual ceremonies, to honor this year’s graduating class. The scheduling of any future military ceremonies is at the discretion of proper authorities.

“Members of the Class of 2020 deserve to be recognized for their achievements,” Brahm said. “Although we cannot assemble for traditional celebrations, the university will honor you and the work you have completed to earn your degrees.”


Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative programs and support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs. Brandman serves about 24,000 students, more than 14,000 of whom enroll in academic credit programs, at 25 physical campuses in California and Washington, as well as online. Brandman offers fully-online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For additional information, visit the university’s website.

Media Contacts:

Terri M. Carbaugh, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs:

Andrew Edwards, Senior Multimedia News Writer:

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