Virtual Graduation: How COVID-19 Affected EvCC’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony

Commencement speakers, Raymond Haug and Alyssa Gorrell discuss the upcoming virtual ceremony.

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Pixabay user @denisem71

It was announced on Friday, April 27th that EvCC’s annual commencement ceremony would be canceled physically, however, students still have the option to participate virtually June 19, 2020. 

Communications major Alyssa Gorrell said of an online commencement ceremony, “This online concept is nothing that I imagined our graduation looking like and I had to acknowledge that feeling of disappointment.” (Adrianna Vison-Montgomery)
Alyssa Gorrell, pictured representing Guam with the island flag, May 14, 2020, in front of the Feather Star statue located next to the Parks Student Union building. (Adrianna Vison-Montgomery)

EvCC wasn’t the only campus who decided to move their ceremonies online, in fact, universities and institutions worldwide made this unfortunate transition. EvCC had planned on moving the ceremony from being at the Walt Price Fitness Center for over 11 years to hosting it at The Angels of The Winds Arena. This also would’ve given Raymond Haug and Alyssa Gorrell a platform to do their graduation speech.

Alyssa Gorrell, a Communications major, and Raymond Haug, a Mechanical Engineering major were selected to be the 2020 commencement speakers. Gorrell plans to transfer to Washington State University and Haug to the University of Washington this upcoming fall.

Gorrell said that Programs Board Manager and Student LIFE advisor Lindsey Hudson will allow the speakers to practice social distancing during their recordings on a scheduled time. “This online concept is nothing that I imagined our graduation looking like and I had to acknowledge that feeling of disappointment,” Hudson explained. She then said that “Student LIFE has given me the opportunity to speak during this unusual situation. Everyone has been very helpful in answering questions and has been very supportive of my achievements.”

Raymond Haug, pictured in front of Rainier Hall May 14, where he served as a tutor during his time as a student at Everett Community College. (Adrianna Vison-Montgomery)

As for Haug, he expressed that “At first, I was bummed, then I realized that this meant I could probably do a few takes and really do a good job.”Haug also mentioned that “EvCC has contributed to my success in many ways. As a recovering addict it is important to take outside feedback on my progress and well being.”

For Haug, “College has been an amazing way to feel successful every three months.” He states, “Everett Community College saw that I was taking a chance on myself and decided to take one on me as well. My experience here has fundamentally changed my perspective on the world and I’m grateful.” 

The graduation committee has done a tremendous job of keeping students in the loop with these unprecedented changes. ASB President Araceli Daza and President Daria Willis created a video for students to tune into regarding the updates. 

The graduation committee will send out an email to students with more updates on this process.

Check out the music playlist below dedicated to the Class of 2020.