KENMORE - St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute hosted a socially-distant graduation celebration for the 157 members of the Class of 2020 and their families.
Caps and gowns were delivered personally on May 12 by members of the St. Joe's faculty and staff to the senior students at their homes. Each box included the student's cap and gown, honors society memorabilia, as well as other special items, including small gifts from the St. Joe's Alumni Association and Parents' Guild.
On May 14, the school hosted a "drive through" celebration and the students wore their cap and gown as they drove through the rear parking lot of the school with their families. They were met by bagpipes, music, signs and cheers as they were celebrated by the faculty, staff and board of trustees.
Later that night a pre-recorded graduation video was emailed to all members of the Class of 2020 to engage in a class-wide "watch party" commemorating the day. The video will include elements traditional to a St. Joe's graduation ceremony, including speeches from the salutatorian and valedictorian, President Christopher Fulco, Principal Jim Spillman, and other special speakers, as well as the presentation of academic awards and recognition of every graduating senior.
"We are all so proud of not only our seniors' accomplishments over the last four years, but also the strength and grace with which they've endured the disappointment of their senior year being abruptly cut short," said Fulco. "We have been hard at work creating a special way to mark the seniors' original May 14 graduation date despite the circumstances we are all facing today."
St. Joe's is still hoping to hold a traditional graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 where they will officially receive their diplomas and walk across a stage either this summer, in the fall, or whenever it is safe to gather as a large group.
"This is not the way we anticipated celebrating their achievements on May 14," says Fulco, "but we look forward to seeing our beloved seniors in person, celebrating with them, and recognizing their extraordinary mark on St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute."