Due to the shelter-in-place order that began Sunday, December 6, Fresno Pacific University is cancelling drive-through commencement celebrations scheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12 at the main campus at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno.

“It was our sincere hope to provide some sort of commencement celebration for our graduates, even in the midst of these trying times, as they are all so deserving of it. Our staff have worked tirelessly planning and re-planning, but we are committed to follow the shelter-in-place order and are unable to host the commencement drive-through celebrations,” said Joseph Jones, Ph.D., president of FPU. 

FPU set overall and single-commencement records in 2020, with 1,358 graduates for the year and 798 in the spring. Commencements normally occur in May and December, but both scheduled ceremonies were cancelled this year due to COVID-19. In spring (May) there were 798 graduates: 363 from bachelor’s degree completion programs, 284 from graduate programs (including 27 from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary) and 151 from traditional undergraduate programs. Fall (December) graduates totaled 560: 431 degree completion, 78 grad (including five from the seminary) and 85 traditional undergraduate.

Items graduates would have picked up at the celebration will be mailed to them in the new year. “We are committed to ensuring they still receive these items as a reminder of their significant achievement amidst these difficult and most unusual of circumstances,” Jones said.

Beginning Friday, December 11, the university website will have a commencement video including messages from Jones; Gayle Copeland, Ph.D., provost/senior vice president for academic affairs and

chief academic officer; and commencement speaker, FPU President Emeritus Richard Kriegbaum, Ph.D. The video will be available at fpu.edu/commencement 

“In spite of these trying times, we wholeheartedly celebrate our graduate’s accomplishments and rejoice in their future. We rejoice in their victories and praise all those who walked alongside them,” Jones said. “Through all that has happened and for all the future holds, we remain confident that with God all things are possible. May God’s peace and blessings surround our graduates as they embark on a life of leadership and service.”  



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations