Georgia Gwinnett College will hold three in-person commencement ceremonies for spring and summer 2021 graduates in accordance to the public health guidelines. The ceremonies are also open to spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates.
“My biggest hope is to have that moment of ‘you know what, I actually did that and I’m actually graduating,’” said Abby Preteroti, a graduating senior. “I feel like graduation is supposed to be that moment where you’re proud of yourself because you have done four–or a lot of times more–years of education and you’re getting a degree that’s going to have a lot of weight in the business world.”
Preteroti, 22, is an English Writing and Rhetoric major with minors in Criminology and African American studies. She will be graduating on May 13th as scheduled.
All graduation guests are required to pre-register. Each graduate is allowed at least two guest tickets. However, the number depends on the public health guidance at the time of the ceremony date.
“I was more concerned about like, ‘was it worth flying in family and making a big day out of it if we weren’t going to be able to actually walk across stage or go through what a graduation ceremony should be like,’” Preteroti said. “I feel like GGC is doing as much as they can to keep everyone safe.”
The ceremonies will be held at the Infinite Energy Arena May 13 at 8:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Information on commencement registration and guest pre-registration was sent out to students on March 29.
“I feel like GGC has done a good job in making sure people will be wearing masks and making sure people are keeping their space,” Preteroti said. “We had to order our tickets ahead of time and [read] the instructions of how everyone has to walk in together [and] we’ll be escorted to our seats.”
Amidst the pandemic, GGC has been proactive in ensuring the safety of their students, faculty, and staff during all school functions. New Covid-19 safety measures have rolled out as the vaccination becomes more readily available. GGC recently announced it will be hosting a Covid-19 vaccine drive-through clinic.
“I was surprised how quickly they responded and how they took it very seriously in the beginning of closing the school down for two weeks and taking that initiative of ‘safety is above all,’” Preteroti said. “Getting the email the other day about how they’re going to do drive-through clinics to get vaccinations…was a surprise to me as well, because I don’t hear a lot of other schools who are trying to do things like that.”
GGC will not have a rehearsal or formal processional. All three ceremonies will be live streamed for guests who are not able to attend.