Lower Columbia College will hold this year’s graduation ceremony virtually, college President Chris Bailey told students and staff Friday afternoon.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Bailey said in a letter to the campus. “Each year, we anxiously await the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating students.”
The decision was made after considering the risks of the COVID-19 outbreak and discussions with students, Bailey said.
The ceremony will be on June 19, and while the details are still in the works, he said that this year’s graduates are invited to participate in next year’s physical ceremony, too.
“Although the announcement may come as a disappointment to some, we feel compelled to prioritize the health and safety of our students and their loved ones,” Bailey said in the letter.
Monday marked the start date of LCC’s spring quarter, which is mostly digital. The start date was pushed back two weeks in response to the pandemic, and the campus remains closed to most students and staff.
“Please know that the altered format of the event does not detract in any way from our incredible class of 2020,” Bailey said in the letter. “Graduating from college in the midst of the most disruptive pandemic since 1918 is a truly remarkable accomplishment.”
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