After several years of unusual commencements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Whitman College is moving forward with plans to hold an in-person graduation celebration at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2022 that we hope will be closer to our pre-pandemic traditions while still taking into account the safety of our graduates and their families.

We will hold an in-person commencement on the traditional platform in front of Memorial Building with students, faculty and staff in attendance. For the first time in several years, we are pleased to be able to invite families of graduates to participate in the ceremony in-person. Per our campus policies, we will ask that all attendees be vaccinated, boosted and masked. In addition, we will livestream the ceremony so that family members who are immunocompromised, unvaccinated or feel more comfortable watching from home may do so.

We have learned many things from this pandemic, including that it can be difficult to predict the course of the virus. There is a chance that we will have to scale back some of our commencement plans for the safety of our community. However, it is our great hope that we are all able to celebrate in-person the accomplishments of our graduates and welcome them into the ranks of our alumni with their guests looking on proudly. Their adaptability, strength and tenacity during a time marked by unprecedented challenges is certainly worth celebrating.

2022 Commencement Livestream

If you experience any difficulties with the livestream on this page, it may also be viewed at:

Commencement Speaker

We are pleased to announce that this year's Commencement speaker will be Steve Hammond ’79. 

Steve graduated from Whitman with a combined degree in geology and mathematics, and went onto a distinguished 40-year career with the United States Geological Survey, where he is now an Emeritus Scientist and volunteers his time supporting women and minorities in STEM. He has served on the Whitman Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee. During his many visits back to campus, Steve has made it a priority to connect with current students and serve as a mentor. He often meets with Whitman students and families visiting the Washington, D.C. area, as well. 

Steve also has a passion for genealogy and family history research, and has participated in a variety of National Park Service programs at Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial, to highlight the lives of his ancestors and others enslaved on that estate. He has been interviewed by and contributed to exhibits at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the White House Historical Association. Hammond is also a charter member of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the Louisiana Historical Society.

We are honored that Steve will be joining us for this very special occasion and look forward to his remarks in May.

Commencement News