Administration Intends to Hold In-Person Commencement Ceremonies For '20 and '21 Graduates
An email sent to faculty lays out intentions to host in-person commencement ceremonies.
Even COVID-19 cannot overshadow the accomplishments of Furman graduates past and present.
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In an email sent to faculty late last week, the administration announced its intentions to host Commencement ceremonies for the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021. While some celebratory traditions during Commencement weekend will still be adjusted or canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the administration told faculty it is “proceeding with plans for an in-person ceremony” that will take place in Paladin Stadium on the evening of Saturday, May 8.
This May 8 ceremony is specifically dedicated to May 2021 and Dec. 2020 graduates, but May 2020, Aug. 2020 and Dec. 2019 graduates have their own ceremony to look forward to the following weekend of Saturday May 15. While the exact time and location have yet to be determined for the May 15 ceremony, the administration is developing Commencement plans for the Class of 2020 that will be finalized once they know how many graduates will be returning for this ceremony.
After hearing about the potential Commencement plans, several 2020 graduates shared their reactions to the news. Hunter Dixon (‘20) said that he would not mind returning for the Commencement ceremony and that he is glad that the administration is making these plans. But, at the same time, Dixon’s diploma is already framed, and he had previously accepted that he was not going to have a graduation ceremony and “is ready to move on.” Still, Dixon acknowledged that the ceremony is a big moment for a lot of people and understands why families would still want to celebrate.
Jack Brown, also a 2020 graduate, said that the Commencement plans are a nice gesture, “but I’ve moved past the desire to have a formal graduation.” To Brown, the ceremony is mostly for the families of graduates at this point, as most students he has talked to are past the ceremony part. Brown mentioned that if the Commencement plans do work out, he would look forward to seeing people that he has not been able to see in over a year. Dixon shared a similar thought and said that the ceremony would be a good opportunity to see his friends if it fits into his schedule.
Senior Reagan Munday was excited to hear the news and said “it would mean a lot to the class of 2021 to celebrate our accomplishments” with an in-person ceremony. According to Munday, not having an in-person ceremony “is not the end of the world” since students have all grown accustomed to virtual events, but an in-person Commencement would be a great way for seniors to celebrate all they have overcome as a graduating class. Additionally, Munday also noted how much an in-person ceremony would mean to both her and her parents, as she “would not be here without them or their support.”
As these plans develop, the administration shared in its email to faculty that it looks forward to “celebrating our seniors and their accomplishments, along with faculty participation in that ceremony as part of that celebration.” While no plans can be considered final in light of COVID-19, 2020 and 2021 graduates may have celebratory plans to look forward to after all. As the situation evolves, The Paladin will continue providing updates about Commencement ceremony plans as they occur.