USC Commencement: Once in a lifetime, 14 times

May 7, 2021

For social distancing, and to honor both the classes of 2020 and 2021, it was necessary to hold two celebrations a day for seven days. Ceremonies are at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time in 70 years.

Opening event Friday, May 14, 6 a.m. call time. Special media access guidelines below

Contact and RSVP: Ron Mackovich, (213) 810-8583 or

The University of Southern California will hold the first in a series of commencement exercises beginning the morning of Friday, May 14, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Up to 1,500 Trojans from the classes of 2020 and 2021 are expected to attend, along with guests.

The celebration will combine the university’s 137th and 138th commencements after the 2020 commencement was postponed due to the pandemic.

Graduates will take to the field through the players’ tunnel, and every graduate will be handed a diploma as they walk across the stage with their image beamed on the stadium’s giant screens, creating lifetime memories on a grand scale.

In order to fulfill the promise of honoring graduates from 2020 and also to practice social distancing, commencement celebrations will be spread over seven days and 14 ceremonies and take place in the Coliseum for the first time since 1950.

In total, more than 36,000 diplomas — representing undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates — will be awarded in this combined conferment.

President Carol L. Folt and Provost Charles F. Zukoski will preside over every ceremony, along with the respective USC deans, in front of a 60-foot-wide video wall on a stage set below the Coliseum’s iconic peristyle.

Media guidelines

RSVP must be received no later than 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 13.

• Check-in time: No later than 6 a.m. on Friday, May 14. Please allow extra time for travel and parking. Late arrivals may need to reschedule for a ceremony the following day. Event begins at 8 a.m. and concludes at 10:15 a.m.

• Camera operators: Prepare for a 75-yard distance between the media area and the stage.

• Media check-in location: Southwest section of the Coliseum.

• Parking: Provided with RSVP.

• Traffic advisory: Avoid exiting the 110 at Exposition Blvd. The intersection is highly congested due to the vaccination clinic located on the corner of Exposition Blvd. and Flower St. and may result in significant delays. Guests should use alternative routes by accessing parking via Vermont Ave., Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., or the 110 Express Lane (Toll) exit at 39th St.

• Media credentials required, along with face masks and social distancing. 

• Well-being: Sunscreen and hats are recommended. Water provided.

• Assets: High-definition photos and video shot from eight cameras will be available soon after the event.