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Florida Gateway College graduates cross the stage in person

Numerous small graduation ceremonies at the college let graduates cross the stage in person
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 11:40 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) -

A graduation ceremony in North Central Florida played on repeat for hours at one college. In-person commencement exercises at Florida Gateway College started and continue throughout the week.

Around 400 students let Florida Gateway President, Lawrence Barrett know they wanted an in-person ceremony for graduation. Instead of one large ceremony, multiple one-hour ceremonies are scheduled with sanitization and social distance in mind.

Barrett said, "It's not easy and the last few months on them haven't been easy either, it hasn't been easy on everybody. So we wanted to have a joyous occasion and really not talk to much about everything going on but talk about their life and their obstacles. All the obstacles they've been challenged."

Five family members per student sat socially distanced as ten FGC grads at a time turned their tassels to transition to the next chapter of their lives.

One student said, “It’s definitely a lot less nerve-racking to be in front of a smaller crowd too.”

After a semester like no other due to COVID-19, spring 2020 graduates of Florida Gateway said they're grateful because although their ceremony was small it was still a chance to celebrate.

Graduate Charnelle Ford said, "feels good to finally be over with all the classes that we gotta take and everything."

Graduate Isabelle Archer added, "It feels great, I'm definitely proud of myself. I pushed myself these past four years to get here and it feels pretty great."

Whether headed to the workforce or furthering their education, more than 60 grads can now call FGC their alma mater.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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