ACC to hold May 6 drive-through commencement

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Alpena Community College’s Class of 2019 is all smiles at their commencement ceremony on Thursday in Park Arena. Approximately 150 students chose to march in the commencement ceremony, but the college had a total of 337 candidates for graduation this year.

ALPENA — Alpena Community College officials announced on Monday a drive-through commencement ceremony will be held for graduates this spring. The graduation ceremony is planned for 5:30 p.m. May 6 at the Alpena campus.

Although large public gatherings are still not advisable because of the coronavirus pandemic, college officials want graduates to have a ceremony where they can receive their diploma covers in person and celebrate their achievements with family and friends.

ACC President Don MacMaster said last year the college put together a commencement video on short order, but there was no personal contact or connection to anyone. He said college officials wanted to try for a more personable commencement ceremony this year.

“I’m delighted we’re able to do this for the students, the graduates of ACC, and their families,” he said. “It’s been an unprecedented year but we think, as a staff, it’s important to safely acknowledge the milestone activity that graduation represents.”

Graduates can pre-register for the ceremony at the Registrar’s Office, where they will be given a time to arrive on campus. Graduates will be given staggered times to reduce possible traffic congestion around campus.

Graduates will arrive on campus with a predetermined route. Students will check in at the Besser Technical Center and then drive to a reception area in front of Park Arena. They will then be able to exit their vehicles, receive their diploma covers from ACC President Don MacMaster, and take pictures in front of an ACC backdrop.

Each graduate is allowed one additional car of friends and family to help them celebrate.

Members of the ACC Board of Trustees and ACC faculty and staff will also be there to congratulate the graduates.

Instead of traditional activities such as speeches, a commencement-themed video will be produced, recognizing student award winners and recipients of the Distinguished Alumni and Fellow of the College awards. It will be posted on the college’s website the day of commencement.


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