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Commencement continues for Wallace Community College

Wallace Community College divided the Spring 2020 commencement into four different ceremonies
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 5:03 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Today the Wallace Community College class of 2020 crossed the stage divided among four different ceremonies. Students received their recognition for their accomplishments. This was the first year Wallace community college held a joint ceremony of both Wallace and Sparks campuses.

“It’s kind of difficult to see the smiles on their faces, but you can feel it, that they really appreciate having a ceremony today,” Dean of Student Affairs Mickey Baker said.

Graduates of Wallace Community College had an extra accessory during the ceremony this year, a mask.

“It’s definitely different,” Regis Peoples, graduate, said. “With everything going on right now, people are trying to be safe. I knew coming into this it was going to be different so I just had to prepare for it.”

The ceremony may have been delayed but remained possible for these students.

“We’ve been waiting since May because they postponed it and I was just like come on August, and I was praying they didn’t postpone it again,” Marlayna Miller, graduate, said. “Who would have known if we would graduate.”

Even if there were changes to be done to ensure safety.

“Chairs are actually six feet apart so that distance is there,” Dean Baker said. “We didn’t want them to gather in here, we wanted them to leave out and we made that announcement, to meet your family back at your car. So lets try to minimize as much as possible within this environment of them congregating together.”

There were no more than 85 graduates at each ceremony. Each graduate could invite up to only four guests. For some graduates with a large support system, this was a tough decision.

“I sat and cried because I didn’t know who to invite,” Miller said. “I didn’t want anyone to feel left out. I had to pick my four most important people that really impacted my life during this journey and kept pushing me to keep going.”

Even without the traditional handshake between the graduate and college president, graduates remained thankful to have had a ceremony.

“It feels great,” Peoples said. “I know all across the country a lot of graduations didn’t take place, or they took place only online, so to actually be here physically it’s an honor.”

The class of 2020 has faced many challenges this year due to the pandemic, but despite all of that...

“We did it,” Taylor Wood, graduate, said. “That’s the main thing, we faced probably the hardest graduating year of anybody usually. It’s supposed to go smooth sailing and stress free but we had masks and social distancing, and I know that was hard but we did and were done, so congrats.”

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