The Class of 2021 will be honored with a Virtual Commencement Ceremony as the official graduation event. The virtual ceremony will allow graduates and all of their loved ones an opportunity to participate in the commencement ceremony.The ceremony will premiere on May 21, 5:00 pm. 

Monterey County has been lifting their pandemic restrictions, which has granted us the opportunity to host an in-person Recognition Ceremony for GRADUATES ONLY. The event will take place on Friday, May 28, outdoors at the Plaza on the Hartnell College Main Campus. There are three options for the event: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. Social distancing and mask wearing will be required. A link to the Eventbrite reservation system will be provided to sign up. Reserve your time slot using the link: Recognition Event Reservation

Please visit this page as often as you like, as the Office of Student Life will be updating any important information in regards to the ceremony. Q&A for both events is provided below.

FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021

Below are the links to the Virtual Commencement Ceremony: Links will Premiere on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 5:00PM (PST)

Arts & Languages, (33 min) Link to Premiere at 5:00PM (PST)
Agriculture, Business & Industries (43 min) Link to Premiere at 5:00PM (PST)
Health Sciences , (37 min) Link to Premiere at 5:00PM (PST)
Social Sciences, (1 hr 3 min) Link to Premiere at 5:00PM (PST)
Here are a few recommendations to make your ceremony viewing more enjoyable:
  • Review the instructions video from last year to set up your viewing location.
  • Limit the use of Wifi among your guests during the ceremony to improve the streaming quality of the premiere.
  • Connect with graduates via social media with #hartnell2021 when posting on social media platforms.
  • Closed captioning is available in Spanish by clicking cc on the apps.
  • Watch the entire ceremony as there is a special message from your Faculty.

FRIDAY, MAY 28, 2021



FOr virtual commencement ceremony 2021


Each graduate will be honored with a personalized graduation slide, which will be on screen when your name is called (see sample from last year's graduation below). 

In order for this to work, we would like for you to complete the Slide form where you will include a brief message and a photo. The preferred picture would come from a professional style camera shot vertically or for cell phone photos, take the picture vertically in portrait mode. The preference is to wear your cap and gown, as it is a graduation ceremony. However, REGALIA IS NOT REQUIRED, but if you do not send a picture, a stock picture (Panther Mascot) will be used when your name is called.


Template of Graduate slide for Virtual Commencement Ceremony.




The Bookstore is scheduled to receive the graduation regalia on Friday, May 7. Please order your regalia no later than Friday , May 7 before 3:00 pm in order for it to be ready that day for pick up. REMEMBER, Do Not have it delivered, rather pick it up. The bookstore will be open until 5:00 pm Friday, and we will be on campus on Saturday, May 8, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm to pick up at the Roundabout at 411 Central Ave . Order your regalia at:

Important Note: Make sure your measurements are correct at the time you place your order as there is a NO RETURN policy for caps and gowns, no exceptions.

Regalia (Option 3)


Commencement 2021 Q&A

Why is Hartnell College hosting a Virtual Commencement Ceremony?

Due to the uncertain state of the pandemic, a decision has been reached to host a Virtual Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2021, which includes graduates from Summer and Fall 2020, and students who petitioned to graduate Spring 2021. 

When is the Virtual Commencement ceremony?

The Virtual Commencement Ceremony will go live on Friday, May 21, at 5:00 PM. The ceremony can be viewed through several social media platforms including: YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. More details and instructions on how to prepare for viewing on those platforms will be sent a week before the ceremony.

What is a virtual commencement ceremony?

A Virtual Commencement Ceremony is a graduation event that is viewed remotely through electronic devices via social media. It allows family & friends who are unable to attend an in-person ceremony the opportunity to view their graduates and share this momentous event.

 What is the difference between an in-person and virtual ceremony?

The program for both graduation formats is the same. Both have a program that includes all the components of a traditional graduation ceremony. The virtual ceremony will have every component pre-recorded.

What are the benefits of a virtual ceremony?

  • The Virtual Ceremony is pre-recorded and will be available to be viewed on May 21st, and any day after that.
  • The ceremony will be delivered based on your Academic Area, therefore there will be five versions of the ceremony, all with the same program except the graduates names will be called only for those academic areas. For example, if you are an Engineering major, you will open the link to the STEM Virtual Commencement Ceremony.
  • The length of each individual ceremony will be shortened and more enjoyable.
  • The ceremony will be viewed in the comfort of your own homes.
  • You can share the link with your family and friends, and can be viewed anywhere there is viewing capabilities.

Do I have to participate?

You will automatically participate as you will have an individual slide where your degree information will be displayed. If you choose, you can send a picture and message which will be displayed on your slide once your name is called. If you choose not to send a picture, we will use a stock picture (Hartnell Building) and a stock message.

Do I have to buy a cap and gown?

It is your graduation ceremony, and we want you to experience the ceremony as if it was an in-person at your home. You are encouraged to wear your regalia in the picture you send in, however, it is not required. If you choose not to purchase the cap and gown, you will still be able to participate in the virtual graduation, just send in any picture you would like displayed.

What are the picture requirements?

All pictures should be appropriate for all audiences as this event will be viewed by people from all ages. Your picture will be reviewed and you will be notified if a retake is necessary.

How will I view the ceremony?

The ceremony will be ready for viewing on Friday, May 21, at 5:00 PM. Details about the release time will be shared a week before the viewing date. The ceremony will be viewed on several social media platforms (YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram). Instructions will be sent to you a week prior in order for you to ensure your technology is compatible with viewing the ceremony.

Who will have access to view the ceremony? 

Anyone who has social media access will be able to view the ceremony, as long as they have the links which will be forwarded to the graduates through email. 

Who can come to the in-person Recognition Ceremony? 

Only students who are graduating may attend the in-person Recognition Ceremony. Family members and friends are not allowed to attend. 

What do I wear to the in-Person Recognition Ceremony? 

All students participating in the in-person Recognition Ceremony are required to wear graduation regalia. Your cap and gown can be purchased at the Hartnell Bookstore. 

Where do I park for the in-Person Recognition Ceremony?

Parking will be available in the Hartnell Parking garage.