Commence the Commencement!

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On March 2, GC President Dr. Steve Dorman announced that May graduation will be held in
person. Graduation will span two weekends with several ceremonies each day to ensure proper
COVID-19 guidelines are followed and to ensure the health and safety of GC students and
Bobcat families.

Dorman sent out an email to GC students and families announcing the news.

“After carefully reviewing our circumstances, facilities, and public health recommendations, I am
happy to announce that we will hold a series of small commencement ceremonies for the May
and August 2021 bachelor’s degree candidates on Saturday, May 8; Sunday, May 9; Saturday,
May 15; and Sunday, May 16,” Dorman said.

The ceremonies will take place in GC’s Centennial Center, and will include the most important
parts of traditional commencement. Thirty students will graduate in each ceremony.

Seniors were instructed to register for a time slot where they are allotted four tickets for guests.
All slots filled up on the first day of registration, so GC added three more ceremonies to
celebrate the graduates.

According to GC’s website, “Because of the interest shown in these ceremonies, we have added
three undergraduate ceremonies to our schedule. These sessions will be held at 6:00 PM on
Saturday, May 8; Sunday, May 9; and Saturday, May 15.”

Students expressed their excitement on the GC Instagram page and shared their love on GC’s
Facebook. After a year of uncertainty, students are thrilled to be able to graduate with a sense of
normalcy.

“There is no better way to end our year,” said Caroline O’neill, a senior public health major. “My
friends and I are starting to plan our final senior activities. It’s really sad, but I’m excited to get to
spend this last month with them.”

December 2020 graduation was held online over Zoom, and many students thought that was
the fate for this year’s spring ceremony.

“I’m really excited to be able to walk across the stage and have my family there,” said Blake
Sorrell, a senior management major. “I really didn’t want a virtual graduation because I feel like
it takes away from our accomplishments.”

Guests are required to wear face coverings at all times while attending. Temperatures will be
taken upon arrival, and students and their guests must enter and exit as a group. The stage and
“high-touch” areas will be cleaned thoroughly between every ceremony.

All graduation ceremonies will be live-streamed online for those who cannot attend, or are not
yet comfortable in public settings.

“Commencement is an important milestone and rite of passage,” Dorman said. “It is a symbol of
your accomplishment and a time for celebration. It is one of my favorite campus traditions. Each
year, I look forward to congratulating our students as they cross the stage.”

As GC seniors make the transition into the next chapter of life, they will forever cherish their time
in Milledgeville and the memories made at GC. Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.