During an era of social distancing, Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) is planning an alternate way to honor its 2020 graduates. The college announced via Facebook Live that it will hold a virtual graduation ceremony in lieu of the traditional commencement exercise. The virtual ceremony will be held on May 16 at 10 a.m. — the same day and time that had been slated for the traditional ceremony.
“Our graduates truly have earned the right to be honored and recognized,” PHCC President Dr. Angeline Godwin said. “Graduation is always our favorite time of the year – a cherished moment for our students, our faculty and our staff. Even though we can’t meet in person, we felt it was important to recognize this historic class of graduates and come together –virtually- as a PH-family to celebrate our students.”
The virtual ceremony will have many of the same components as the traditional ceremony. President Godwin will address the students and formally confer their degrees. The graduation speaker will be Seraina Dailey –a 2020 graduate who helped PHCC create hundreds of face shields to donate to local healthcare providers using the college’s 3-D printers. All students will have their moment to shine as the college announces their names, degrees, credentials, and awards just as it would be with a traditional ceremony. The difference will be that family, friends, and the students themselves will all be watching via Facebook live. Instead of watching the student walk across the stage, they will see the student’s picture as the speaker reads the name.
Potential graduates received an invitation to participate in the virtual ceremony through their student emails. To every graduate who completes the form indicating their desire to participate, the college will mail a graduation cap and 2020 tassel. Students will then have until May 11 to submit a photo of themselves in the cap for the ceremony.