ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rock Valley College leaders say they held out hope that the school could host an in-person graduation ceremony, but once Gov. JB Pritzker extended the stay-at-home order through the end of May, they couldn’t wait any longer.
“We felt it was best to make the decision to go virtual and do something in the immediate to honor those graduates now,” said David Costello, Executive Director of Communications, RVC
Rock Valley College announced their plans for a virtual graduation ceremony on June 5th.
The college is working with a company called StageClip to create a video that will include commencement speeches, and slides for graduating seniors who want to be recognized.
“Obviously, our first choice would have been to have the ceremony like we have had for over fifty years on campus. With everybody there and there family there and celebrating with them. But when you have to go to an alternative, we’re pretty excited about what that alternative is,” Costello said.
Costello says that in a normal year, he expects around 500 students to attend the commencement ceremony.
This year, roughly 400 students are expected to be a part of the virtual graduation.
RVC senior Alex Jackson says that some of his peers are disappointed that they won’t be able to have a traditional ceremony.
“I feel like, especially when you’re about to graduate college, it’s a celebration. You’re getting really excited because you’re coming to the end of one chapter and about to enter another, but now the line is blurred a little bit,” Jackson said.
But Costello says that the class of 2020 will get another opportunity to walk the stage.
“One of the things we’re also doing in addition to the virtual ceremony is allowing them to come back next year to participate in the ceremony in 2021,” he said.
Costello says graduating seniors will have the opportunity to share personalized messages as part of the virtual ceremony.
Students can pick up a cap and gown this Thursday, from April 30th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to participate in the broadcast.
- A drive-through pick-up system will be set up in front of our Education Resource Center (ERC) building. Enter the campus from Spring Brook Road and follow the directional signs that will guide you through the process.
- To maintain social distancing protocols, you will be asked to remain in your vehicle.
- Please view this map to see how the drive-up process will work and for additional instructions you must follow for the pick-up process.
Each student can upload a photo or 10 second video to the video sharing service StageClip, which will be used to host the ceremony.
The school also plans to invite 2020 graduates to the 2021 commencement next Spring.
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