Peninsula College to host 59th commencement June 18-19

Peninsula College will celebrate its 59th commencement with multiple in-person graduation events June 18 and 19.

The College’s nursing students will kick off the weekend with a pinning ceremony and awarding of diplomas at 3 p.m. Friday, June 18, in the Port Angeles campus gymnasium.

At noon on Saturday, June 19, students earning degrees and certificates for BAS, AAS, AS, High School Completion and one-year certificate programs will march into an outdoor venue on the lawn south of the Pirate Union Building.

The celebration concludes with the awarding of AA diplomas at 3 p.m. in the same outdoor venue.

After holding a virtual commencement in June 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID safety guidelines for higher education this June allows for in-person events of as many as 400 participants outdoors and 100 in the PC gymnasium. With more than 200 students signed up to walk, the PC graduation committee landed on a plan for multiple events with two tickets for each graduate, and a live stream for the many other friends and family members to join in the celebration.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to host an outdoor ceremony this year, and are working with the county health department to provide safe in-person ceremonies for our students,” Peninsula College president Dr. Luke Robins said.

In all, 413 students, 88 of them Running Start students, will receive certificates and diplomas following the end of spring quarter. A little more than half are opting to participate in the three ceremonies.

International students from Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea will be among those feted.

The student speakers for the two main graduation events will include Sequim’s Rachel Anderson, an AAS graduate studying business administration, and Port Townsend’s Sophia Buonamici, an AA graduate studying arts and communication.

Board of Trustees Chair Erik Rohrer will provide remarks for both ceremonies, along with Peninsula College President Robins.

Vice President for Instruction Dr. Steven Thomas will present the graduates.

The venues will open for guest seating one hour prior to each of the ceremonies. Masks will be required and efforts will be made to social distance participants. In the event of rain, ponchos will be provided.

Umbrellas are not allowed during the two outdoor ceremonies to provide the opportunity for all guests to see the stage.

In addition to a live stream and a recording of the event, available at, photos from the ceremony, including each graduate receiving their diploma, will be available on Flickr at

Because of COVID protocols, Peninsula College will be unable to host a reception this year. Graduates and their guests are encouraged to join their families for safe celebrations at their homes or area restaurants, college representatives said.