NewsCovering Kentucky


Berea College holds impromptu graduation ceremony before students leave campus amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 3:36 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 15:36:22-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — Seniors at Berea College put on their caps and gowns and gathered together at Berea College for an impromptu graduation ceremony on Thursday.

The original Commencement celebration was cancelled amid coronavirus concerns.

"It was a very happy moment to say goodbye to friends, to take pictures, to literally look back on the memories that we share," Berea senior, Imelda Saintilma, said.

According to Saintilma, seniors took photos, received gifts from the College and said their final goodbyes to their friends.

"It's hard thinking you have two more months left with your friends and then it's like we have two days, but we can say our goodbyes and hopefully see each other again soon", Berea senior, Briana Lanham, said.

Lanham said the late notice meant that many students' friends and family were not able to attend the celebration.

"It would have been nice to have all our friends and family come, but it's going to be alright," Lanham said.

Berea College said it hopes the commencement can be rescheduled on another day when it "can be conducted safely".

Saintilma and Lanham said their professors are working on plans to have them finish their coursework remotely so they can receive their diplomas.

"I have to finish all my classes with a satisfactory grade," Saintilma said. "Therefore, if I don't pass any of those classes, I won't be able to get my diploma. It's contingent upon having good grades."

Berea's campus will officially close to students at the end of the day Friday.