Rockland Community College’s
61st Commencement Ceremony

Rockland Community College will celebrate the Class of 2021 graduates during a virtual ceremony and modified in-person celebration on May 20, 2021.

Watch our livestream of the ceremony with live commenting, read our graduate interviews, download the program, and sign the virtual guestbook to celebrate the graduating class.

COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
MAY 20, 2021

Virtual Ceremony: Visit sunyrockland.edu/commencement2021 on May 20, 2021 at 3 pm or come back to this page for a direct link.

In-person Modified: All graduating students will be invited on campus to attend a modified in-person ceremony on May 20, 2021 at 12 pm. The ceremony will take place “drive in movie style” in a designated area on the main campus in Suffern, NY. All social distancing protocols will be followed. The RSVP is now closed for the in-person celebration for RCC’s 2021 Commencement. To ensure that RCC is within the guidelines and regulations for COVID, all students must have RSVP’ed in order to attend. More information about the in-person celebration

Add the Virtual Ceremony to your Google Calendar

Follow our social media sites to check out other highlights from the ceremony and our graduates. You can also look up the hashtag #RCCvirtualgrad2021 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Streamed via Facebook and YouTube on May 20, 2021 at 3 pm

Due to current health department restrictions, the official graduation ceremony will be virtual and streamed via Facebook and YouTube. The ceremony will model the 2020 ceremony and will feature speeches from the RCC administration, politicians, student speakers and more. The streaming will occur on May 20, 2021 and the entire college community is invited to watch the streamed event. Visit sunyrockland.edu/commencement2021 on the date of the event or come back to this page for a direct link.

Drive-in-movie style on May 20, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Students have asked for an in-person aspect of graduation and honor their request, the College will hold a modified in-person celebration for students and their families. Due to health guidelines during the pandemic, there is a very limited capacity for even outdoor events, and this activity will be limited primarily to students and their families. Each school will be represented by their dean and at least one faculty member.

The modified in-person celebration will model a “drive-in-movie style” activity. Graduates will be permitted to arrive in a car with their families and only the student will be permitted to exit the vehicle. Accommodations for students without personal transportation will be made available.

To gain admission on the day of the celebration, graduates will be required to show proof of either a completed vaccination or a negative COVID test (taken no more than 72 hours beforehand). The celebration will consist of brief comments from dignitaries, which will be followed by a procession of all students in attendance. Photos will be taken in compliance with health regulations and recommendations.

RCC will host 2 days for COVID testing prior to commencement. For more information regarding the testing procedure please visit https://sunyrockland.edu/about/coronavirus/covidtesting/pooled-testing-procedures/.

FAQ for in-person, modified celebration

Contact Information

RCC Commencement
[email protected]

Records and Registration
Technology Center
Room 8110
845-574-4328
f: 845-574-4499
[email protected]

decorated graduation caps

Graduate Salute

5/10 – 5/14, 10 am – 2 pm
5/17 – 5/19, 10 am – 2 pm

Decorate your cap for graduation. Student Involvement will be hosting cap decoration stations as a part of their Grad Salute. Sign up for a time and come to the Student Involvement, in the Student Union room 3208, where we will provide materials for you to decorate your cap!

Sign up to decorate your cap

GRADUATION PHOTOS

In commemoration of this momentous milestone, we have made arrangements with a professional photography company to take photos of our RCC graduates. 

Click the link below to schedule your graduation photos for May 18 or May 19. Photos will be taken at Rockland Community College in the Student Union, Room 3204. 

Schedule your Graduation Photos

Apply for Graduation

To obtain a degree or certificate from Rockland Community College, students must register for graduation. Students in their final 12-week session must register for graduation in order to have their records reviewed. If all requirements are not met by the end of the final session of attendance, the student must reapply for graduation in order to be considered for the subsequent semester.

The deadline to register for graduation to appear in the Commencement program and have your name announced during virtual Commencement is May 1, 2021. You can apply for graduation after this date and time but you will not appear in the program or virtual Commencement website/livestream.
  • A minimum of a 2.00 GPA is required for graduation.
  • Degree-seeking graduates are required to have 60+ credits and certificate-seeking students must have 25+ credits.
  • The deadline for application is the 3rd week of the Spring semester.

There are two ways to apply for graduation:

  1. Download the Graduation Application Form, complete the top portion & email it [email protected]
  2. Log into Banner Self-Service & complete the Graduation application in self-service.

EXIT LOAN COUNSELING

If you need counseling on student loan repayment after graduation, please click here to make an appointment from April 21 to May 5. Contact Edwin Rivadeneyra at [email protected] if you have any questions about making an appointment. Click here for the Exit Loan Counseling flyer.

Order Your Cap & Gown

Details on how to order your will be sent to your RCC email after you have applied for graduation. How to pick up your cap and gown will be provided at a later date. 

Submit Your Graduation Quote

Graduates are encouraged to complete the form below with their graduation quote, which will be featured during the virtual ceremony. The deadline to complete this form is May 5, 2021 at midnight.

Become the Student Speaker

Leave  your legacy by inspiring and sharing common experiences with your graduating peers. The student who is selected to represent the graduating class will have their speech filmed and featured as part of the virtual Commencement Ceremony.

Complete the Application for Student Speaker form by April 15, 2021 at 5pm. If your application is selected, finalists will audition before the Graduation Speaker Committee on April 19 and 20 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

Thank you for your interest. It is a great honor and privilege to represent your graduating class as the student speaker.

Watch the 2020 Commencement Student Speaker

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, we will be celebrating the class of 2021 in two ways. Please see below for more information

Virtual Ceremony – May 20, 2021 (Streamed via Facebook and YouTube at 3 pm)

Due to current health department restrictions, the official graduation ceremony will be virtual and streamed via Facebook and YouTube. The ceremony will model the 2020 ceremony and will feature speeches from the RCC administration, politicians, student speakers, and more. The streaming will occur on May 20, 2021, and the entire college community is invited to watch the streamed event.

Modified In-Person Celebration –May 20, 2021 (Drive-in-movie style at 9:00 am and 12:00 pm)

Students have asked for an in-person aspect of graduation and to honor their request, the College will hold a modified in-person celebration for students and their families. Due to health guidelines during the pandemic, there is a very limited capacity for even outdoor events, and this activity will be limited primarily to students and their families. Each school will be represented by its dean and at least one faculty member. Students without a car should still RSVP. Further details will be provided to students without a car.

Graduates will be limited to one car each. Graduates must be dressed in their regalia as well as arrive in the car with their family/friends to gain admission. Cars that arrive without a graduate who is dressed in regalia will not be allowed to enter given the capacity of the event and COVID regulations. Each graduate will be mailed one ticket per car.

No COVID test is needed to participate in the virtual ceremony. A COVID test is needed to gain admission on the day of the In-person celebration, graduates will be required to show proof of either (1) Complete vaccination, or (2) a negative COVID test no more than 72 hours beforehand. On-campus testing will be provided the Monday and Tuesday before the Modified-In-Person Celebration.

Yes, Student Involvement will be hosting two events the week before Commencement: Graduate Salute (decorating caps and gowns and Drive-In Movie Night. Both dates are TBD.

Students that are set to complete all degree requirements for August 2020, December 2020, Spring 2021, or August 2021 may participate in the virtual ceremony. Please confirm your eligibility with Records by emailing [email protected].

RSVP by May 7

Graduates must be approved for graduation by Records in order to participate. Records can be reached at [email protected].

All students must RSVP by Friday, May 7, 2021. The link to register will be sent at a later date.

Graduates must purchase their regalia in order to participate in the Modified In-Person Celebration. The cost of the regalia is $26.25 plus $7.95 for shipping.

All students are strongly encouraged to have regalia. However, due to the nature of a virtual ceremony, graduates are not required to purchase regalia. Each graduate will be individually recognized with a customizable slide containing their names.

Graduates must first apply for graduation in order to purchase regalia. Once you apply, please contact [email protected] to be sent the link to order your regalia. You will need your Student ID number to place your order. Please note that your ID number is under the Student Profile section in Banner (number beginning with R00). Profile section in Banner (number beginning with R00).

The next info session will be held on Wednesday, May 5 from 12:30 – 1:30. The Graduation Information Session will be led by the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Dr. Helen Brewer, and the Interim Executive Director of Student Engagement and College Life, Dr. LaToya Blount. This session will provide information to students about the ceremony and week of events leading up to the ceremony. More information will be provided with specific information. Please continue to check your RCC email for further information.

There will not be a rehearsal.

Graduates are encouraged to dress semi-formal for the celebration. For Virtual Commencement, students should dress according to their comfort level as the ceremony will be virtual. Feel free to show your RCC pride by wearing RCC apparel while with your family and friends in a safe space.

Commencement is a graduation ceremony to celebrate this memorable moment of your success. We encourage you to attend and celebrate your accomplishments.

Graduates will receive a Name Card upon arrival the day of the modified- in-person celebration. The Name Card is used to read your name as you walk across the stage. Your name is announced from this card, so please spell your name phonetically (So‧phi‧a) to assist the reader with the correct pronunciation. In addition, please ensure that you have a pen with you on the day of the event. 

Yes. You must apply to graduate regardless of ceremony participation. For information on how to apply for graduation, visit Click Here for Graduation Application.

No. If students choose not to take part in any ceremony and their SUNY RCC academic requirements are met, similar to prior years, students will receive their diplomas in the mail.

Your diploma will be mailed to the address on file with Records approximately one month after commencement as long as you do not have any outstanding financial obligations and all graduation requirements have been met. 

Questions about eligibility to graduate should be referred to Records at [email protected].

Questions about the ceremony should be referred to the Interim Executive Director of Student Engagement and College Life at [email protected]. Please put Commencement Question in the subject line.

Dr. Linda Garcia is the Executive Director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement (the Center) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT). Dr. Garcia earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a concentration in broadcast and a doctorate in higher education administration with a specialization in community college leadership from The University of Texas at Austin. Her Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree is from The University of Texas at Brownsville.

You should be able to use any internet connection, but broadband or high-speed internet connection is recommended for video viewing.

Yes! We want you to and encourage you to share the link so your family and friends can celebrate this incredible achievement with you.

Students should plan for the celebration and ceremony to be at least 2 hours.