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Daily Journal
     April 9, 2020      #14-100 KDJ

KCC, ONU plan online ceremonies for May 2020

By Stephanie Markham

Kankakee Community College and Olivet Nazarene University both plan to host virtual graduation ceremonies for the spring 2020 graduating class with in-person reunions a possibility later on.

The institutions announced in late March that campuses would close and instruction would continue online for the rest of the semester to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

KCC President Michael Boyd said Monday in a letter to students and staff that the May 2020 commencement would be celebrated with an online event. More details will be shared in the coming weeks, according to the letter.

“Though it will be a different kind of commencement than we’ve ever done, I assure you that it will be special,” Boyd said in the letter.

Boyd went on to say that inviting May 2020 graduates to the May 2021 commencement ceremony may be a possibility so that all graduates’ accomplishments can be recognized in a traditional setting.

“I realize that this isn’t the way we planned to host commencement this year,” Boyd continued. “Perhaps now more than ever, we need to celebrate our successes and achievements at the end of a very difficult academic year.”

The traditional 2020 commencement ceremony was scheduled for May 16. The semester ends May 8 for both institutions.

Updates on KCC’s response to coronavirus can be found on the college’s website at coronavirus.kcc.edu.

ONU President John Bowling addressed students and staff in a video message April 2 stating that the university is planning an online commencement celebration for graduates and their families May 9, with details to follow in the coming weeks.

“We want you to be able to move that tassel once you graduate,” he said in the video.

Graduates typically gather in the Centennial Chapel during commencement, but unfortunately that will not be possible this year, Bowling said.

Bowling went on to say that the university is planning to host a first reunion for the class of 2020 in November during its annual Homecoming festivities.

He also encouraged students to “stay strong.”

“We never could have anticipated this is how we would spend these last few weeks together,” Bowling said in the video. “But I’ve been immensely impressed with your tenacity and your positive spirit through it all.”

More information and updates on ONU’s response to coronavirus can be found on the university’s website at olivet.edu/coronavirus.

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