Virtual commencement

Whitman College’s commencement ceremony moves from the Memorial South Lawn to the virtual realm Sunday.

With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on gatherings, the college created a new plan for its 134th commencement.

The 11 a.m. virtual graduation will include remarks from Whitman President Kathleen Murray and board of trustees Chair Nancy Serruier, as well as class of 2020 speaker Maude Lustig and commencement speaker Katie Krummeck, class of 2003, whose interactive address was designed with input from graduates, an announcement from the college said.

Provost Alzada Tipton will read the names of the 415 students participating in the commencement.

“This is, of course, not how we originally envisioned marking this occasion with our seniors and their families,” Murray said in the announcement. “At the same time, I am optimistic that the program we’ve put together will be a fitting tribute to a class that’s worked so hard and overcome so much, especially in these final few months of their college careers. Their resilience, good humor and grace is certainly something to celebrate this weekend.”

Whitman students received their caps and tassels, despite being unable to gather for the graduation. They were encouraged to submit photos, videos and personal messages, which will be shared during their portion of the event.

Diplomas will be mailed to students, in addition to extra copies of the official commencement program.

To watch the ceremony live, click the link on the commencement webpage at

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Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.