By CBSLA Staff

THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) — Cal Lutheran’s graduates from 2020 and 2021 may finally see each other in person for the first time in a year at graduation, which is being planned for the Ventura County Fairgrounds in May.

The private liberal arts university says it’s planning for an in-person graduation ceremony for both the class of 2020 and 2021 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds in May. The university’s administrators say they wanted to provide an in-person opportunity for graduates to celebrate with family and all of their classmates, while following all public health protocols.

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“We wanted to do something special that our graduates will fondly remember, given everything they have gone through,” the university’s president, Lori E. Varlotta, said in a statement. “We are pleased to have found a venue that allows university faculty and staff to celebrate – in person – the incredible accomplishments of our graduates. Knowing that graduates will be accompanied by a few family members or friends makes it all the better.”

When the coronavirus pandemic struck last spring, it led to the cancellation of high school and graduation ceremonies across the country.

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The ceremony for 2021 graduates is scheduled for May 8 at 10 a.m. The 2021 Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony will take place on May 15 at 10 a.m.

Each graduate will be allowed to bring one car of people to the fairgrounds parking lot, which has space for up to 700 vehicles at a time. The university says they will set up a four-sided, theater-in-the-round stage, and attendees can tune in to the ceremony via their car radios.

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Graduates will be able to walk across the stage if Ventura County’s COVID-19 levels improve to the “red tier” of the state’s phased reopening. If the county remains in a more restrictive tier at that time, photos of the graduates will be broadcast on four large LED screens as their names are announced.