Photo credit: The Almanac
On Wednesday, administration announced in an email to M-A seniors that their graduation ceremony will be held online on June 4th. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a state order banning large gatherings, a virtual ceremony remained the safest way to honor M-A’s seniors this year.
M-A will be using Herff Jones virtual graduation software for the ceremony, and it will be released on YouTube at 4pm on graduation day. To honor each graduating senior, each of their names will be read, and each may submit a 15 second video to play during the ceremony. Some characteristics of an in-person graduation will remain, including student speeches. Seniors will still be able to wear a graduation cap and gown, as M-A is hosting a drive-through pickup to follow social distancing protocol the week of May 4th.
Still, administrators’ disappointment that the ceremony would be virtual was clear in the email, which read, “A virtual graduation is in no way equivalent to the real thing, but as we are prohibited from gathering together in-person, it is our best and only option at this time.” High school graduation is a milestone for many students, as it celebrates four years of hard work and the beginning of post-high school plans like college or entry to the workforce.
Because M-A is in its sixth week of distance learning, few M-A seniors were surprised by the announcement. Senior Hazen Stribling said, “Assuming it’s not mandatory I doubt I will show up. Then again I suppose it’s the best the school can do for now and I didn’t expect a better solution.”
Senior Mariah Grover added, “I knew that the chances for an in-person graduation were becoming slimmer and slimmer, and all the talk about universities possibly cancelling the 2020 fall semester kind of killed the hope. I guess the class of 2020 will just be the class that graduated from home!”