President and provost look to make in-person commencement memorable

Deja Goode

After a long wait for an in-person graduation ceremony, the University of La Verne plans to host the celebration on June 12 at the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino.

President Devorah Lieberman and the University’s new Provost Kerop Janoyan will be heading the event.

Janoyan, who stepped into his new position on April 1 while also planning his relocation from New York to Southern California, said it has been interesting adjusting to his new position while working remotely.

“I would rather be in person on campus and see people, especially as a new person,” Janoyan said, adding that he’s making his plans for graduation and relocating here simultaneously.

“Our moving and stuff is happening around the same time, so it is going to be logistical,” Janoyan said. “I’m hoping to be there the week before…It’s a big move.”

The University is hosting a series of events leading up to the in-person graduation ceremony, including two graduation drive up events on May 15 and May 23, and a virtual graduation ceremony on May 29.

“I will be attending all of our commencement events: The campus drive through, the virtual, and the June 12 face-to-face,” Lieberman said in an email this week.

Janoyan said that the main goal for the graduation events is to give the parents of La Verne students an opportunity to connect and see their children walk across the stage and receive their diplomas first-hand.

“We are really trying to make it as special as possible,” Janoyan said. “It’s once in a lifetime, or even the first time for first generation families, so just being there and being able to share that with them will be an honor.”

The in-person commencement will be broken up into three parts to honor graduates from the spring 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 classes to give past graduates their rightful ceremony as soon as possible.

Due to the University originally booking speakers for the virtual commencement, there will not be a guest speaker for the ceremony on June 12 as the main goal was to give students an opportunity to walk across the stage.

All graduates are allowed to bring a maximum of two guests to abide by the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

Deja Goode can be reached at

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