Hundreds of students from colleges on and off post are set to graduate in the Truman Education Center’s first-ever virtual combined graduation ceremony Oct. 23.
The ceremony will be put together as a pre-recorded video presentation and posted to the center’s Facebook page. To replicate the feeling of a traditional commencement, photos of the students will be shown in their cap and gown as their names are read aloud, TEC officials said.
“All the information is screened by the actual schools,” said Education Services Specialist Angela Garrett, who is arranging the event. “It’ll flow just like a normal graduation, with a welcome speaker; it will have an emcee, we’ll have the invocation, the benediction … as well as a commencement speaker.”
TEC released a series of deadlines that participating schools and students must meet if they hope to be included in the graduation. They are as follows:
Friday: All email registrations will be forwarded from the TEC to the respective colleges.
Monday: Colleges will confirm all of their own graduates’ email registrations.
Oct. 9: Colleges will provide TEC with the final list of virtual graduation participants, including photos.
Students at colleges located on post need to send their graduation materials to their schools, while students of off-post colleges need to coordinate directly with the TEC, Garrett said.
Graduating amid a pandemic
Debra Wales, the installation’s education services officer and graduation welcome speaker, said she is happy to be able to provide the graduates some level of recognition, even if the typical ceremony isn’t feasible.
“We are excited that, regardless of COVID-19 and all of the challenges it has, graduation is still happening,” Wales said. “We’re going to celebrate this milestone event for these Soldiers and our community.”
TEC officials reminded graduates that should they need access to them, college transcripts are now electronic. Graduates should also keep in mind that diplomas can take extended amounts of time to arrive in the mail since some schools send them out once per year, Garrett added.