On Saturday, May 23, Niagara County Community College hosted a virtual commencement celebration for the Class of 2020, recognizing over 900 graduates. The prerecorded video allowed graduates to submit a photo of themselves, future plans, and messages of appreciation to friends and family. Additionally, the video included remarks from SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, and NCCC President William Murabito.
“You have already made history by being the first class at Niagara County Community College to ever have a virtual commencement ceremony. Now you can start the next part of your life knowing you are flexible, you can overcome challenges and you can thrive in the face of adversity,” Murabito said.
As Student Senate president and recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and the 2020 President’s Medallion honoree for involvement at NCCC, Tayllor Clark congratulated her peers noting she had made lifelong friends at NCCC. Clark said her studies at the college were just the beginning of her journey to a lifelong career.
While students were not physically able to be together to celebrate their accomplishments, a virtual watch party was held via Facebook so graduates, their friends and family could view the ceremony simultaneously and make comments in real-time.
The administration at NCCC is still hopeful that graduates will be able to celebrate in person at a later date when social distancing and health restrictions are anticipated to loosen, but it was agreed that marking the end of the semester and all of the notable accomplishments of the Class of 2020 should be done virtually before students move on to four-year institutions or careers in their field.
For anyone who missed the watch party, the video can be accessed online at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/commencement/.