Monday evening, students rolled into the red lot of Clark College and picked up their “Congrats Grads” yard sign, saying one last goodbye to faculty and staff after an unexpected end in their educational journey.
One after another, in vehicles or by walking, students came in with family and friends and received cheers of encouragement and joy from volunteers made up of staff, faculty and community members.
Among those volunteers was Linda Ture who’s a big supporter of graduation every year but couldn’t this year due to COVID-19, “I know every graduate is being affected by this,” she said.
Ture wasn’t the only one excited to see the graduates, Jennifer Lea and Andreana Digiorgio were also excited to have the opportunity to see this year’s graduates. Digriorgio was a graduate of the Class of 2012 and now works as a Medical Assistant. “This was a great chance to get out of the house,” she said.
Another volunteer was Heather Adams who works in the Student Affairs department. Adams said, “I really wanted to just be able to celebrate our students especially because my job is one that doesn’t get to celebrate them all the time, and so I wanted to be out here to show our students that they mean a lot to us and this is a huge, huge accomplishment in their lives.”
“I don’t want a pandemic to block out the shine of graduation,” Adams said.
College Interim president Sandra A. Fowler-Hill also attended the event. Fowler-Hill cheered on the class and said despite the circumstances they plowed through this quarter with grit and tenacity.
“This graduating class of 2020, I’m so proud of them,” she said.