CCC graduation ceremonies return to the Richmond Memorial Auditorium

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, graduation for Contra Costa College students will be at the city-owned auditorium.


Photo by Alyssa Earnest

Contra Costa College graduation ceremonies are now back at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit back in 2020. 

Graduation ceremonies were one of the many school traditions that were affected by the global pandemic, forcing students to miss one of the most important days of their academic journey. 

Ceremonies across the globe were being held in alternative ways, such as being held outside in a field, a virtual ceremony, or a drive-through ceremony. In 2020, CCC held graduation ceremonies virtually and had students drive by to pick up graduation gift packs. 

Prior to the pandemic, Contra Costa College had its ceremonies held at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium. The auditorium seats up to 3,000 people and continues to be a focal point for the community of Richmond. 

Some of the CCC graduates this year are feeling excited about having graduation ceremonies back in the auditorium.

“I wasn’t aware about how they did graduation like that in the last two years due to the pandemic,” a CCC student who is set to graduate this year said about the virtual ceremonies. “I am happy about it being in the auditorium since I was unable to receive a proper graduation in 2020 for high school.” 

The graduation ceremonies are always planned by the Dean of Students’ office, and the staff there are feeling pretty good about bringing back ceremonies back to the auditorium since they have been holding ceremonies at the football field for the last two years.

“We feel good about it. It is as big a space as the football field, and offers some logistical scenarios that would have been difficult to manage on campus,” said George Mills, Interim Dean of Students at CCC. 

“There is no importance attached to hosting the graduation at Richmond Auditorium. They have hosted our graduations in the past, and with the weather conditions last year – when we hosted graduation on the football field – as well as some other unforeseen issues, we felt moving the ceremony indoors would work for the majority.” 

Mills also had some words he wanted to share with the graduating class of 2023. 

Graduation is called commencement for a reason – it is the beginning of something amazing,” he said.“I encourage our amazing graduates to enter this beginning with aspirations of igniting the spark that transforms our community and even the world.”