VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -Valdosta State University (VSU) is preparing for its 230th commencement ceremony. It takes place Monday at the Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
About a thousand students will participate in graduation, including some summer and spring graduates.
“Commencement is one of the most special days in the life of any university and given what our students had to confront during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to give them the best celebration possible. And we are doing that and we’re very proud of that,” said John Crawford, Vice President for University Advancement.
Crawford says it’s important the university provides this experience. They also had to come up with the safest plan.
Jacob Bell graduated in the spring and is coming back to walk across that stage.
“You know, I’m excited. Graduation is certainly an incredible milestone in anyone’s life. As a first-gen graduate, my family is certainly super excited for me to be able to have the opportunity to come back and participate in a live ceremony,” said Bell.
Kamari Logan will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
She says it was a very challenging year and what gave her the push to continue was having a ceremony to look forward to.
“When we got the news that we would have a commencement anyways...it really gave us that push to finish the semester strong, we are going to have a commencement, we are going to be able to walk across the stage. Valdosta State is allowing us that opportunity. At least for me that really gave me that push to keep going and suddenly it made my last semester feel more real,” said Logan.
Four ceremonies will be divided into departments.
The stadium will be at 25 percent capacity.
Graduates and guests must have tickets.
Seating for both will be socially distanced.
The stadium will be sanitized before each ceremony.
Face coverings are required.
Hand sanitation will be available.
Entrances and exits will be one-way.
A limited number of people will be on stage, with no handshaking.
The keynote speaker will be on video.
“The overriding message that will be shared with our graduates on Monday is that they are the most resilient graduating class in the history of Valdosta State University,“ said Crawford.
The first ceremony kicks off at 9 a.m.