Pearl River Community College will hold its spring 2020 graduation ceremonies at Dobie Holden Stadium on the Poplarville campus July 29 and 30.
The first ceremony on July 29 will include graduates of career or technical programs including allied health and nursing. The July 30 ceremony will include graduates earning Associate in Arts degrees. Both ceremonies will begin at 7 p.m.
“When the spring graduation ceremony had to be postponed, it would have been easy to say that we would not have a ceremony at all this year,” Dr. Martha Lou Smith, provost, said. “For many students, the ceremony is a moment that symbolizes their success. If at all possible, we want the students to have an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishment with family and friends.”
All guests should enter the campus through the main entrance. Graduates will check in for the ceremony at the stadium ticket office. Graduates should arrive no earlier than 5:30 p.m. and should check in no later than 6:15 p.m. Students who qualify for honors recognition will be provided cords or stoles at check-in.
Graduates are limited to four guests. Additional tickets will not be offered due to capacity limitations as a result of COVID-19. All guests, including children of any age, will require a ticket. To avoid group gatherings, guests should not arrive prior to 5:30 p.m.
Graduates will be given their guest tickets on the day of the ceremony at check-in. Graduates should coordinate their arrival with their guests to ensure they can hand off their tickets prior to entering the stadium for assembly.
After check-in, graduates will hand off their guest tickets and follow directions to enter the stadium’s end zone for assembly. At this time, graduates will complete a card with their contact information for identification purposes. Graduates will then be escorted to their seats as quickly as possible to maintain social distancing. Guests are encouraged to socially distance themselves in the stands as they enjoy the ceremony.
During the ceremony, a picture will be taken of each graduate. Approximately five days after the ceremony, students will be notified regarding purchasing pictures online.
PRCC will follow CDC recommendations in order to offer a safe ceremony for graduates and guests. Pearl River has ensured that Dobie Holden Stadium allows for social distancing, that surfaces will be disinfected as often as possible and that antibacterial stations will be available throughout the venue. PRCC strongly recommends the use of face masks while on campus.
To avoid the spread of germs, graduates will not be handed a diploma cover during the ceremony. An empty diploma cover will be used for pictures to convey that a degree has been awarded. Graduates will pose next to a diploma cover held by Pearl River President Dr. Adam Breerwood for a picture and recognition during the ceremony, but graduates will not touch or be handed the diploma cover. To reduce the exchange of materials, diplomas will also not be issued after the ceremony. Fall and spring graduates have already received their diplomas in the mail. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas by mail a few weeks after the ceremony.
Due to the outdoor location of the ceremonies, weather conditions will be closely monitored by PRCC personnel. In the event of a weather system that may impact the ceremony, PRCC will post up-to-date information on its social media pages.
For those who cannot attend the ceremony in person, the ceremony will be live-streamed and available at prcc.edu.