BC celebrates fall 2020 graduates via virtual commencement ceremony

Arianna Allen

Editor in Chief

Broward College held the Fall 2020 virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. via YouTube live to celebrate this semester’s graduating students. 

Broward College President, Gregory Haile, opened by addressing the students with “Graduates, commencement is an exciting time when we celebrate your years of hard work.” 

The virtual event was a way to ensure the safety of the students, spectators, faculty, and staff during the unprecedented time of COVID-19 while also celebrating the accomplishments of the 2020 fall graduates. 

In an interview with Carlos Parra, Distinct Director of Student Engagement, he discussed The Winter 2020 graduation resembling a similar format to the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony as the efforts of the graduation team sought out available resources to make the virtual process as personalized as possible while recognizing the hard-working achievements of the students. 

The virtual format of the commencement ceremony did not lack any celebration or recognition of the graduate’s accomplishments, as the virtual format was conducted in a formal order of events, including a personalized slide for each graduate, said Parra. 

The personalized slide for each graduate included their name, degree- type and a picture of themselves.

“…This is our second commencement ceremony in 2020. And while we miss our traditional motive celebration, we are excited to celebrate your success in this virtual format,” Pres. Haile said during the Commencement Ceremony. 

Prior to the graduation, the College held a socially distanced, masked, and RSVP only “Grad Fest event” for students to take a professional head shot picture with their cap and gown that could have been used in their power point slide, Parra said. He said that “just under 370” students participated in the Grad Fest event. 

 “… it gave students that opportunity to get that photo of themselves in the cap and gown…” Parra said. 

During the Commencement Ceremony, Pres. Haile reflected on the previous in-person graduations pre-COVID by stating, “What I miss most about being in-person is the opportunity to celebrate our diversity. Twice per year, commencement allows us to look out at the thousands of students, employees, and family members who make this college and our community beautiful, unique, and strong. We personify the coexistence of diversity and unity,” he said. 

He went on to say, “Our 63,000 students and close to 5,000 full-time and part-time faculty and staff together represent more than 150 countries and speak more than 50 languages. Together each of you contributes to the innovative, cultural, and academic experiences that we offer.” 

“Because of you and others who have gone before you, Broward College has for 60 years been recognized both locally and nationally as an institution which offers high quality programs, focused on the success of all of our students.” 

According to news.broward.edu, it breaks down the 5,000 students eligible for graduation based upon degree specification. 

– 3,913 Associate of Arts graduates 

– 7 Associate of Applied Science graduates 

– 833 Associate of Science graduates 

– 132 Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates 

– 328 Bachelor of Applied Science graduates 

The graduates and their families had the opportunity to hear from, Erika Noel, A. Hughs Adams Campus Student Government President. The graduates and families also had the privilege of hearing from Commencement guest speaker, Thasunda Brown Duckett, the CEO of Chase Consumer Banking who shared an inspiring message to help motivate the graduates in this next season of their lives. While including the National Anthem performed on the piano by Dr. Jure Rozman, Associate Professor of Music.  

If you did not have the opportunity to watch the graduation live, you can access the recording through bcfallgrad2020.com