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SRJC to honor Class of 2020 with virtual graduation ceremony May 23

The college plans to livestream a video May 23 that recognize every graduate by name.|

Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University will be hosting their spring graduations online to honor departing students who are restricted from gathering for a traditional ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic.

SRJC plans to livestream a video on May 23 at 9 a.m. that will recognize every graduate by name. Students in the class of 2020 will also have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 commencement.

Nearly 2,100 SRJC students are eligible to graduate this spring, accounting for roughly 10% of the school’s 22,000 students who have been taking classes remotely since the pandemic prompted a campus shutdown in mid-March.

SRJC President Frank Chong said in a statement it was important to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduating class, which has endured multiple disruptions to college life including last year’s Kincade fire.

“These students have shown incredible determination and resilience by continuing their studies while our community faced wildfires, smoke closures, power outages and now the coronavirus,” Chong said. “They are graduating having proven their resilience and ability to persevere.”

Graduating SRJC students will have the chance to submit a photo and more information like their major and a final quote for a slideshow included in the graduation video.

Students completing career education certificates will be commemorated in a similar virtual ceremony on May 22 at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, SSU will post a graduation video on its website as a tribute to this year’s students. It will include remarks from school leaders and scroll through the name of every graduate, said university spokesman Paul Gullixson. President Judy Sakaki, Provost Lisa Vollendorf, and Associated Students President Daniel Yoeono are expected to speak.

The video is not intended to replace the 2020 ceremony, and the university is planning for an in-person commencement for this year’s graduates in spring 2021, Gullixson said.

You can reach Staff Writer Yousef Baig at 707-521-5390 or yousef.baig@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @YousefBaig.

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