Class of 2020 Graduation Celebration FAQs

Oberlin College is excited to welcome the Class of 2020 back to campus for a class celebration and special commencement ceremony on Saturday, October 16. In addition to a day filled with dedicated events for the Class of 2020, class members are also invited to participate in Homecoming activities taking place over the weekend.

When and where will the 2020 special commencement ceremony be held?

The ceremony will be held on campus at noon on Saturday, October 16 on Tappan Square.

Members of the Class of 2020, guests, and all participants in the ceremony will be required to comply with current campus ObieSafe COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Additional information can be found at

What is special about this commencement ceremony?

Alumni from the Class of 2020 are involved in the planning of this distinctive ceremony. The program will feature remarks from President Carmen Twillie Ambar and class representative Naeisha McClain '20, in addition to music, individual acknowledgement of graduates in attendance, and other elements of a traditional commencement ceremony.

Academic regalia is optional; however, class members are welcome to wear caps and gowns for the ceremony. Members of the Class of 2020 may also consider bringing their mortarboards and tassels, previously mailed to them as part of their graduation packages, to wear during the ceremony.

Who is the commencement speaker?

President Ambar wanted to share this moment with the Class of 2020 and has requested the honor of this opportunity to be their commencement speaker. 

From her first moments on campus President Amber has felt an unbreakable bond with Obies. This journey with the Class of 2020 has been remarkable. From events at her residence, her inauguration, sporting events, student organization get-togethers, music-dance and theatre concerts, lectures, and classroom visits, her time with the Class of 2020 has been memorable. But, it may be what became of the senior year of the Class of 2020 that has left an indelible mark on these Obies and President Ambar. This unprecedented journey with the Class of 2020 is one that can only be understood by the people who lived it. 

Naeisha McClain '20 will also be featured as the Class of 2020 speaker.

Are faculty invited?

All faculty will be invited to participate in the ceremony.

If you are a member of the Class of 2020 returning for the celebration, you might want to reach out to specific faculty members to let them know your plans to be back in Oberlin.

When and where do graduates check in?

Graduates will check in at the Academic Advising Resource Center (AARC) Office – Carnegie Building and receive instructions about where to line up for the commencement processional.

Graduates will be invited back for an upscale continental breakfast, preceding official check in for the ceremony.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony will last approximately an hour.

Will the special commencement ceremony be ticketed?

Graduates will be required to register and MUST CHECK IN on Saturday morning (10/16) in order to participate in the commencement ceremony.

No tickets are necessary. We are providing seating for up to four guests per member of the Class of 2020. There will be a limited mobility section.

Where should I park on campus?

There will be parking on and around campus, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved spaces will be available for accessible parking.

Is transportation available? 

Scheduled complimentary transportation between the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel and Oberlin will be provided throughout the day on Saturday, October 16, to enable class members staying at the hotel to attend some or all of the day’s activities.

View the full shuttle bus schedule

Will the commencement ceremony be live-streamed?

Yes! The link for the livestream will be available at on this website on Saturday, October 16.

Will there be a photographer at the ceremony?

Yes, there will be a photographer, and photos will be made available for participants.

Are there any hotel accommodations available? 

We are pleased to share that Oberlin has coordinated room accommodations with the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel and will provide one free hotel night, either on October 15 or October 16, exclusively for the personal use of each member of the Class of 2020 returning for the celebration. 

Additionally, the college has negotiated a discounted rate of $99 per night (plus taxes and fees) exclusively for members of the Oberlin Class of 2020 who want to stay a second night, subject to availability. 

If you stay one night (either October 15 or October 16), it will be provided to you by Oberlin; if you stay two nights (October 15 and 16), your first night will be complimentary and you will be able to obtain the second night at the discounted rate, subject to reservation deadlines and availability. 

Hotel reservations need to be made by members of the Class of 2020 using the special link below. Please note you will need to provide a credit card number to reserve your room. Guests are responsible for incidental expenses. NOTE: When complete the transaction, you are not being charged the amount shown. This is just a confirmation, not a receipt. Oberlin will be charged for your "free" night, and you will be charged for the second night, once you have checked out.

Please note:

  • The complimentary room is available only for the personal use of Class of 2020 graduates returning to campus for the celebration of the Class of 2020.
  • A credit card will be required upon placing room reservations, whether for the complimentary room or the complimentary room and an additional night.
  • Guests will be responsible for all incidental expenses associated with their stay when using the complimentary room provided by Oberlin (i.e., the college is paying  exclusively for room accommodation charges, limited to the room rate and any applicable taxes and fees associated with the provided complimentary room).
  • The college will be providing complimentary, scheduled shuttle bus transportation between the hotel and campus on Saturday, October 16. Additionally, the Sheraton Cleveland Airport Hotel (which is located on Cleveland Hopkins International Airport property) has a shuttle that runs between the hotel and the airport terminal.