Grad rules for the biggest graduating class

Photos courtesy of College of the Desert. Graduating students at Commencement 2017.


College of the Desert’s graduating class gets larger every year. COD has officially broken its record for the amount of students graduating and participating in COD’s Commencement ceremony for the fourth year straight.

The latest figure from COD for Commencement 2018 reveals that 1,485 students will receive either a degree or certificate. The previous year, the college graduated 1,220. This is a 22% increase from the previous year. Students that will be attending commencement also broke their previous record by having nearly 600 students attending in 2018 while back in 2017, 512 walked across the stage. As far as attendance goes, organizers expect 2,000 people to attend the event.

Speakers during the ceremony will include Superintendent/ President, Dr. Joel L. Kinnamon; Faculty Member of the Year, Dr. Ellen Hardy and two COD students, Brenden Lorsch and Justin Caddow. The event will start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday May 25. The students are to meet up and prepare beforehand in the gymnasium. The students will then be guided to the stage on Boone Field at the Palm Desert campus.

Graduates are encouraged to have their cap, gown and tassel or cord ready with name card filled out at the bookstore. Graduates must also have their transfer medallion and graduation honors confirmed with the admissions office. They will also have the opportunity to meet with their commencement announcers, to make sure names are pronounced correctly.

If you are graduating and did not purchase your cap and gown by May 4, there is no guarantee that the correct size will still be available. It is recommended to try on your cap and gown immediately after purchase and return to the bookstore if anything is wrong. If you purchased a stole, you can secure it to your gown with safety pins. You can also make sure your cap stays on right by securing it with bobby pins.

You are encouraged to decorate your own cap but must understand the rules. Caps should not contain vulgar language, political statements, reference to any drugs or alcohol, decorations that obstruct people’s views, balloons or other items that could pose a safety hazard and make noise.

For the actual ceremony, students have to be in the gym no later than 6:30 p.m. to line up. There, you will receive your name card and honor cord if you are graduating with honors. There is no security present, so make sure not to leave anything behind. Ensure that you take care of your stuff before you report to the gym.

At the end of the ceremony, the faculty exists Boone Field ahead of the graduates to congratulate students in a “recessional line.” There will be a reception honoring the graduates, speakers, trustees and staff in the gymnasium right after the ceremony. A photo booth and other picture opportunities will be available. It is suggested to discuss a meeting place with your guests outside of the field or at the reception in the gym in advance.

A professional photographer from Grad Images will take pictures of individual graduates as they approach the stage and when they receive their diplomas. The photographer will email proofs and order information to each graduate.

Discounts are available if you pre-register your email address at

Guest seating and parking is first come first serve. Disabled parking is available in lot 17. Make sure not to bring any gifts into the stadium, as these are restricted and students are not allowed to carry anything during the ceremony. Children are welcome to join the guests on the bleachers or guest seats set up on the grass on both sides of the graduate seating.

Diplomas will be mailed to the address provided on the students degree application approximately 6-8 weeks after the final grades are posted. For more information, check out the graduation package at

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