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FAQs on Class of 2020 Commencement

Updated on May 6, 2020

Why did Oregon Tech decide to do a virtual rather than a delayed in-person commencement in the late summer/fall this year?

The Provost, VP for Student Affairs, faculty and administration carefully considered possible options, including a delayed commencement ceremony in August or September. Many students who responded to a survey expressed a desire to have an in-person ceremony that was delayed, which is what all of us were hoping we could plan for later this year. One of the big unknowns is when the stay-at-home mandate will be lifted based on the “flattening of the curve” of the spread of the virus. Because there are estimates ranging from summer to fall, it became apparent that it is not possible to plan a set date for an in-person commencement. Each day the medical and public health communities are finding out more about the spread and activity of the virus in our communities.

To meet students’ wishes for an in-person ceremony, we invite the Class of 2020 graduates to walk in our in-person ceremony in June 2021 as special graduates, along side the Class of 2021. More details on this will be communicated to graduates as planning work continues

What will the virtual commencement be like?

The Provost and Deans of the Colleges of Health, Arts and Sciences and of Engineering, Technology and Management explored various options and reviewed all of the feedback from students that was received. From that a plan was developed for a virtual commencement for each College – Health, Arts and Sciences and Engineering, Technology and Management – on Saturday, June 13, and which is combined for the Klamath Falls and the Portland-Metro graduates; and with some departmental virtual gatherings as well. While details are in planning stages, this will provide for some graduation greetings and speeches by students, faculty, the President and dignitaries; and will include some creative pieces from students.

We welcome your suggestions to make this the best virtual commencement that it can be! Please provide your comments through the ASK A QUESTION button on the Oregon Tech COVID-19 web page.

What date and time will the virtual commencement begin?

There will be two virtual commencements on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The College of ETM virtual commencement will begin at 10am, and the College of HAS virtual commencement will begin at 12pm.

Will there ever be an opportunity to “walk” in an in-person commencement ceremony

Yes. For those who can return to campus in June of 2021, we invite you to walk in the in-person ceremony at either Klamath Falls or Portland-Metro, joining with your students in the class of 2021 as our special graduates. More details on this will come later.

Can I cancel/return my cap and gown that I’ve ordered and get my money back?

Oregon Tech bookstore will refund cap/gown if a receipt is provided when items are returned. Josten’s will not refund any graduation materials.

Will I still get the ceremony program and my diploma?

Yes, the program, your diploma and other graduation-related items will be sent to you by mail. More details will follow in the next several weeks.

Do I still have to pay the graduation fee?

Yes. The graduation fee is used for verifying and posting the degree.

If I have questions or want to provide ideas for the commencement ceremony, who do I contact?

Please send questions or ideas through the ASK A QUESTION button on the Oregon Tech COVID-19 web page. We welcome those and will provide all ideas to the commencement planning committee.

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The Integrated Student Health Center on the Klamath Falls campus will continue to offer both medical and mental health support services during Spring Term. They are able to offer in-person, telephone and video conference counseling to students. Medical appointments will continue to be in-person. The ISHC in coordination with Klamath County Public Health is following the guidelines from the Oregon Health Authority to screen students who call to schedule a medical appointment. Call ISHC at 541-885-1800 to schedule either type of appointment.

Counseling Services are available to Portland-Metro students via telephone and video conference. Appointments can be made by calling 503-821-1313.

Students: If you are on the Klamath Falls campus and begin to feel ill (cough, trouble breathing, fever), or would like to speak with a counselor, call ISHC at 541-885-1800. If you are a student on the Portland-Metro campus or on another site and begin to feel ill, please call your healthcare provider.

Faculty/Staff: If you begin to feel ill (cough, trouble breathing, fever), please call your healthcare provider. 


Integrated Student Health Center