The COVID Commencement

Walking across the stage after completing your hard-earned college degree is a milestone for every student. The ceremony is a way to reflect on and celebrate the lasting memories and hard work that has gone into finishing a degree. Unfortunately for college seniors, especially those at UWGB, the tassels and gowns won’t be worn as intended.

Due to the global pandemic, UWGB has decided to “reimagine” a commencement ceremony for Spring graduates. This has left many prospective graduates wondering when their time to walk across the stage will be. In an effort to celebrate with peers and friends among these uncertain times, soon to be Spring graduates, Shelby Smith, Quinne Herolt, and Erin Penzel decided to make their own, mini commencement ceremony.

Finding their old, High School graduation caps and gowns, the three seniors made the best of what they had to recreate their own, unique, special ceremony, “After hearing that commencement wasn’t going to happen,” Erin said, “ I decided to make my own tassels and create fake diplomas for my friends.”

For all seniors, the cancellation of graduation came as a shock. “I read the email about commencement and I realized that I don’t know when I will be able to see any of my friends, professors, or bosses again.” Quinne added.

Although the ceremony wasn’t in front of their families or a packed Kress Events Center, holding their own ceremony gave them some sense of closure. Shelby said, “I feel better knowing that I got to experience some kind of commencement with my friends. This is never how I expected to end my Senior Year at UWGB, but we did the best we could with what we had.”


Story by Shelby Smith

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2 Comments to “The COVID Commencement”

  1. thecommvoice says:

    Did you toss your shoes in the tree???

  2. pulslr says:

    I love this Shelby!

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