HARRISBURG – Southeastern Illinois College 2021 graduates will have the opportunity to walk down the aisle to accept their diplomas this year in Joseph Deaton Gymnasium Saturday, May 8. The one major difference is that there will be no packed gymnasium. Family and friends will be cheering from the college parking lot or from home and commenting on the live ceremony during the livestreamed event on YouTube.
With the ceremonies livestreamed, SIC will create Wi-Fi capacity in its north parking lot so that family and guests can stream the ceremony on their devices from their cars.
“This decision has not been made lightly,” said Executive Dean of Student Services, Dr. Chad Flannery. “We want our students to have the graduation experience, but we want to make sure we do so in as safe a manner as possible. And livestreaming the event will allow family members that may live some distance away to experience the ceremonies in real time, as well.”
Another change in SIC’s graduation is two separate ceremonies will be held. The first is at 10 a.m. for baccalaureate Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. The second is at 1 p.m. for Nursing, Career & Technical Education, Associate of Applied Science degrees, and certificates.
The platform will be set up in traditional fashion with the platform party spaced according to social distancing requirements. Faculty will be seated on either side of the traditional middle aisle according to social distancing requirements.
Students eligible to walk for graduation are those who finished their degree or certificate in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021, or those who will finish in Summer 2021. Students filled out their graduation application in December, and any that have not picked up their cap and gowns yet, should visit the SIC Bookstore.
Students should arrive 45 minutes prior to the start of their ceremony and enter through A Building between A and D (Child Study Center) Buildings where they will meet with college staff to get lined up. Students will be spaced out through the ABC Corridors to adhere to social distancing requirements. The ceremony will also be livestreamed throughout the ABC Corridors on TV screens for students to watch while they wait for their turn.
Students will proceed to the stage when their name is called to receive their diploma cover. They will then proceed down the middle aisle between faculty to a picture station where they will have an opportunity for a photo before exiting the gym. Photos will later be made available for families to view, save, and download, and the link will be posted to SIC’s social media accounts.
Terry Severson, Hoosier Fire Management Officer, will be the keynote speaker for both ceremonies. Severson is the 2021 SIC Distinguished Alumnus.
Music for the first ceremony will be provided by SIC Music Instructor and Teacher of the Year, Cory Garmane. Musician and SIC Alumna Melinda Tolley will provide music for the 1 p.m. ceremony.
To watch the livestreamed event, visit www.youtube.com/c/SoutheasternIllinois. The video will remain on YouTube for later viewing, as well. For more information about commencement, call (618) 252-5400 ext. 2400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.