High schools, colleges begin announcing commencement plans

Coronavirus

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Schools are announcing commencement plans, just one day after Governor Mike DeWine announced that “graduations and proms” would be permitted this spring.

This comes after most ceremonies were either canceled or done virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic last year.

The president of Bowling Green State University delieverd the good news in a video sent out Friday to all 2020 alumni and May 2021 graduates. 

“Today, I am pleased to share we are exploring in-person commencement exercises for this spring,” said Rodney Rogers, Ph.D. President, BGSU, “These ceremonies will be unlike any other.”

Rain or shine the ceremonies will be held outdoors at the Doyt L. Perry Stadium. Both graduating seniors and 2020 alumni are invited so that they too can finally walk across the stage.

Kent State University told FOX 8 that plans for Commencement are forthcoming, and that they are “currently exploring options and awaiting guidance from state and local officials.”

Case Western Reserve University also said that they hope to announce plans early in the spring semester and that, “much will be determined by the current status of the pandemic and applicable guidelines on mass gatherings.” 

Some Northeast Ohio high schools have announced that they will have in-person graduation ceremonies including Parma and Euclid.

“We’ll have several ceremonies,” said Principal Andre Rudolph, at Euclid High School.

The Euclid campus has two football stadiums. Principal Rudolph says, the current plan is to use both. However, they aren’t ruling out one normal combined ceremony. Everything depends on the threat of the pandemic when it gets closer to graduation, while working with both the state and local health departments.

“It took us awhile and is an ongoing process as things continue to change, but we’re dedicated to finding a solution for our students,” said Principal Rudolph. “The biggest thing is that they have access to a ceremony.”

Because students have already lost so much.

Friday night as the Panthers were practicing basketball for next round in the playoffs some senior athletes admitted it’s been challenging.

“It’s been terrible I’ve just been wanting to get back to school to associate with my friends and my teachers and have a good time,” said senior Jordan Rees.

During all sporting events they’ve only been allowed to have limited fans, with extra safety measures and restrictions.

The thought of missing a milestone like graduation was upsetting, but now they’re grateful to the district for already having commencement plans.

“I think it’s great that our school is doing that,” said senior Jeremy Fuqua. “We waited 4 years through all of the ups and downs so that’s definitely something I want to experience with my friends and family.”

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