To Mixed Reactions, University Announces Hybrid Commencement Plan

A Safe Way to Have Graduation

By Jaylin Johnson, Correspondent

With everything happening in the world right now, there will, be some changes in how things are done. This semester’s graduation, much like last semester, will need some adjustments to make the celebration safe. However, the Graduation Committee is still giving this event their all to honor every student who has completed a major. “Our intent is to celebrate you in every way we can and to provide you with irreplaceable memories, photos, and videos that will be there for years to come,” said the Graduation Committee. In early March, the class of Spring 2021 received notification of  how the graduation committee will carry out the celebrations. 

The traditional walk across a stage has been rebranded the “Grad Walk” on May 8. Instead of just walking the stage, graduates will walk from what the committee is calling the “Celebration Station” to the Activity Center. Graduates will meet with faculty and staff at the Celebration Station and receive their alumni items such as cards, awards, certificates, and an Embry Riddle Keepsake. The walking path will be surrounded by balloon arches, fanfare, music, international flags, and peers. At the Activity Center, graduates will then walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and have their graduation photos taken. The stage walk will also be a live stream for anyone who will not be able to attend in person. 

A virtual graduation ceremony in the form of a pre-recorded presentation will also be posted on Embry-Riddle’s website the morning of May 8. The video will be produced by Jason Kadah and the Marketing department for graduates and their families. It will include comments from the class speaker, Chancellor Karlsson, a keynote commencement speaker, and President Butler. The presentation will also have individual slides for each graduate with a photo and message of their choosing. The video link will be posted on the website May 8, but can be watched at any time, and the graduates can share the link with unlimited family and friends. 

More information on the hybrid commencement plan went out to all graduates recently from the Graduation Committee. For anyone who is not a graduate, more information and clarification can be found at [https://news.erau.edu/headlines/pre-recorded-virtual-commencements-planned-for-spring-2021]. Although many graduates were not expecting this type of celebration, many people around campus are doing everything they can to make this event memorable for everyone involved. Despite the disappointing circumstances, graduates are encouraged to make the most of the celebration they will have. In the words of Kennedy: “Let us honor you for your achievements. We hope you will embrace it and make it yours.”

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