ByDal Cannady|October 19, 2020 at 5:08 PM EDT - Updated October 19 at 5:40 PM
STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Graduates will once again walk across the stage at Paulson Stadium for their diploma.
Commencement at Georgia Southern traditionally draws thousands of graduates and their families to fill Paulson Stadium as students and loved ones enjoy the moment. But in 2020, a stadium packed with people would be the last thing the university or others would want. They say this series of smaller ceremonies still gives graduates their moment in a face to face way, a step up from a virtual one.
December graduation may be weeks away, but Southern announced they’ll hold five commencement ceremonies in an effort to keep attendance smaller and allow distancing.
University Vice President Dr. Scott Lingrell says they started on this plan right after the virtual ceremony in May that drew mixed reviews.
“We’re changing the number of people who come to the ceremony, the entrance, the seating, everything had to change,” said Dr. Lingrell.
They’ll hold one ceremony in Savannah at the convention center and four at Paulson Stadium. Only a few years ago, the university split ceremonies by major and split them between the two cities. But this time, students have options.
“...students in Savannah, if they want the outdoor ceremony at Paulson, they can have that,” said Dr. Lingrell. “Or vice versa.”
He hopes the in-person plan gives students and loved ones a better experience than the virtual ceremony held back in the spring.
University leaders say they wanted to give graduating seniors something memorable, but safe.
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