Taking photos, walking across the stage virtually, and tossing your cap in the air is what Valencia College 2021 graduates will be doing in a new graduation experience this May 2021.
The idea of having a traditional graduation ceremony has changed. This year Valencia College campuses will be giving its students a new ceremony. The college mailed to graduates a box that contains a cap, gown, tassel, alumni license plate, and diploma cover. Campuses will also be creating a socially distanced, in-person celebration.
During the 15th, 16th, and 17th of April, graduating students will have the chance to come to Osceola, East, and West campuses for a red carpet event that will feature multiple photo opportunities for them and their families. There will also be a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m for students and their families to celebrate along. Students can expect ceremony speeches and a reading of all of the graduates’ names.
In an interview with Valencia College student Andressa Lins, when asked how she felt about the graduation she shared, “I’m sad because I would like the normal graduation, I thought this year we could have one.” Lins will be receiving an A.S degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management this May. “The only good thing about this all, is that my family in Brazil can watch virtually, so it’s satisfying for them,” said Lins.
Valencia College invites all 2021 graduates to participate in the on-campus drive-thru grand finale event. Students are to make sure their group fits in one vehicle as only one vehicle will be allowed per student. Students will be invited to walk onto a stage while their name is read aloud. A professional photographer will take photos, which will be available for purchase.
International student Amanda Casquel from Brazil will receive a Paralegal degree this spring graduation. When asked what motivated her, Casquel said, “What motivated me in seeking this degree was my personal experience. I had a bad experience with an attorney once, so that experience motivated me to help people. I also reminded myself what got me into this program.”
Casquel received her graduation box and shared her reaction with the Valencia Voice. “ I was pretty excited, this year our graduation experience will be closer to the regular experience,” Casquel said
In an interview with student Caroline Louredo Da Silva, she shared her thoughts on graduation. Da Silva will be graduating with an A.S in nursing this spring, with plans to transfer to Advent Health after graduation. When asked what advice she would give future Valencia College student’s she shared, “Just like make the most of it, the faculty is so nice and since the classrooms are smaller, the faculty look’s out and helps you, and join some clubs,” said Da Silva.
When asking Joseph C. Richardson, the Valencia College vice president of student affairs, the precautions taking place at the Grad Finale, he said “Wearing of masks and social distancing protocols will be followed during the grad finale events. In order to keep the population density low, each student is asked to limit their grad finale participants to the occupants of a single vehicle”.