Graduation is On

Plans in Place for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 to Graduate in-person

Graduation+Tent

Photo by Bridgewater College

Due to COVID-19, a traditional Bridgewater College graduation ceremony on the campus mall was not held for the class of 2020. This image is from the 2019 graduation exercise.

Jake Smith, Video Manager

Bridgewater Va. – Bridgewater College is set to graduate the Class of 2021 on May 1, but it will look different than it has in previous years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of daily life, from not being able to go out, to wearing masks, to classes online. Now the pandemic is affecting the way BC graduates will participate in the graduation exercises. 

Provost Leona Sevick sent an email earlier this semester announcing that the class of 2020 and the class of 2021 will all graduate in-person.  

The class of 2020 is currently scheduled to graduate preceding baccalaureate on Friday, April 30.  

Sevick stated that graduation will be broken up by divisions — which means that instead of graduating as an entire college, students will be graduating only with peers within the same division.

Amanda Jones, a senior health and exercise science major, is glad that BC is taking measures to ensure that students and staff are safe — but is disappointed that graduation is split into different ceremonies.

“We have been together for four years, so it is a little disheartening knowing that we are going to be separated since we aren’t in the same division, but at least we are still graduating in person,” said Jones. 

With restrictions on gatherings and capacities being lowered for events, it is unclear how many guests students will be allowed at commencement. Graduation will be live-streamed just like in the past. 

According to BC’s commencement webpage, the number of guests allowed will be based off of the restrictions from the state’s COVID-19 regulations during that time.

Senior mathematics major Erika Clary knows it is just a waiting game to see how the pandemic plays out, but is optimistic for graduation.

“There is no reason to be mad because they can’t tell us,” said Clary. “It’s honestly because they don’t know yet. I am still making my hotel reservations for family in case and can cancel them if need be.”

While many things surrounding the pandemic are unknown, one thing is for sure — Bridgewater College wants to celebrate its graduates like they do every May.