Pierce College holds its first Virtual Commencement for the class of 2020

“Graduation is one of the most special days of the year.”

The Class of 2020 was left with many unanswered questions after millions of Americans were ordered to stay home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For Pierce College seniors, one question has been answered–graduation will continue. After an announcement was made to Pierce College students via email, the Class of 2020 will receive the college’s first-ever online ceremony.

The 2020 Pierce College Virtual Commencement will be broadcasted live on June 19 at 2:30 pm through MarchingOrder, a webcast service that specializes in online graduations viewed through Youtube. 

The Pierce College Executive Team and Graduation Committee, including both Pierce College Presidents Darrell Cain, Julie White and Chancellor Michelle Johnson, scheduled frequent virtual meetings to brainstorm options before coming to a decision.

“It was hard for us because graduation is one of the most special days of the year,” says Chancellor Johnson.

The purpose of the virtual commencement is to resemble the traditional graduation ceremony. To ensure this, the commencement will feature the same scheduled speeches from Pierce College leaders and will honor each individual graduate. Participants of the virtual commencement can view the event on the site for up to one year after the live commencement has aired.

Each graduate will be honored during the live broadcast in a slideshow that displays their name along with a photo provided by the graduate. More details on how students can submit photos will be provided for those participating closer to the ceremony. 

For students who were looking forward to wearing a traditional cap and tassel for their Pierce graduation, the option is still open. However, Pierce College officials will need to evaluate distribution methods and social distancing but will give more information to graduates soon.

Along with the virtual ceremony, students can still receive a traditional graduation program that contains the names of graduates, the agenda of the ceremony and more. In addition, students still receive a Pierce College degree holder that’s usually given to graduates as they walk along the stage during a traditional ceremony. 

For students to have their names featured in the graduation program, they must have completed a degree and diploma application by April 23. Students should still complete the application for the evaluation of college credits to earn their degree or certificate that’ll be mailed to them after the ceremony. 

The Pierce College Executive Team and Committee acknowledges this is a historic time and encourages students to reach out to faculty with questions or assistance needed to finish out the school year. 

“One of the things we believe in dearly at Pierce College is our mission to create quality educational opportunities for diverse community learners to thrive in an evolving world,” says Chancellor Johnson. 

A student from the Class of 2020 has the option to participate in the 2021 commencement next spring if larger gatherings are allowed at that time. For more information, visit https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/graduation.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Adelle Engmann

Pierce College holds its first Virtual Commencement for the class of 2020

by Adelle Engmann time to read: 2 min