2021 Graduation: Virtual Ceremony and Car Parade


Photo by Seyi Ariyo on Unsplash.

Graduate smiling onto her future.

Graduation is fast approaching here at EvCC and many people have been wondering what’s going to happen with the 2021 celebration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, large indoor gatherings have been discouraged due to the lack of safety against the virus. There are many different ideas that have circled around the college regarding what’s going to happen and Student Services has finally picked the most appropriate.

Parades have been rising in popularity over the past year. Whether they are for birthdays, holidays or just letting someone know that you care. They have been used as an outlet for in person celebrations while still keeping safe distances. “We are not in a position to have your traditional graduation ceremony,” Jennifer Rhodes, the Vice President of Student Services states, “But for this year we are going to focus on having a graduation parade.” It is planned that on June 18 from 4:00 – 7:00p.m., the college will hold a parade to celebrate our 2021 grads.  

Along with this in person activity, a graduation website will also hold celebratory speeches, outstanding graduate and honors program recognition and the hashtag #EvCCGrad2021 will be used throughout social media posts. 

This screenshot from the April 16, 2021 Trojan Talk meeting discussing what our plans are for the 2021 celebration. (Screenshot by Lily Beck.)

Last year, EvCC grads celebrated their great accomplishments online via shared slideshows and videos. “We still did our best to celebrate our students’ accomplishments by doing a virtual commencement,” Rhodes explained. This year students were hoping for something a little different. Though some have mixed feelings, many hoped for normal in-person graduation like years before COVID-19. 

A huge component for a student graduating is getting to walk. Not only does it allow others to see their accomplishment, but it also gives them a sense of closure with their studies and it closes a chapter of their life. “That’s my favorite part of graduation every year is watching students cross that stage and know how much they have overcome to get to that space. And I see that as not only a way that we are celebrating the students but that we are celebrating the accomplishments that we as a college have achieved together,” said Rhodes.

Jason Acuña shared some of his thoughts and feelings on the matter. Though he personally does not feel any more special walking at graduation than he does just receiving his diploma in the mail, he certainly understands why others do. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for some people, especially if you aren’t going onto university or some undergraduate program,” Acuña said, “For those people, it’s their first and last graduation ever. Plus some people just like having that crowd see their achievement of receiving their diploma.” He plans to graduate this coming spring after studying for a major in Biology through Running Start. 

Alexis Jones graduated in 2017 from EvCC. She was a Running Start Student who received her Associates of Arts and Science with a focus in Journalism & Communications. (Courtesy Photo from Noni Jones.)

2017 Grad, Alexis Jones, talked on what it felt like to graduate. Though she was unable to attend the EvCC graduation due to a big event happening the same day, she was able to attend her in-person Outstanding Graduate Ceremony as well as she attended her high school graduation because she was a Running Start student. “Graduating from Everett felt like a big accomplishment for me, it was a great moment to recognize all of the hard work I had put in over the last two years. It made me really take a step back and feel really proud of everything I had done so far and being able to have my friends and family there made it even better, Jones said.

The plan of using a parade as a celebration is an effort to make this year’s graduating class feel as accomplished and celebrated as those who have previously graduated. As we approach June, keep an eye out for more information. Details concerning where the parade will take place as well as a link to the graduates website will be released soon.