Spring is here and graduates are picking up their cap and gown orders, taking part in graduation events, sending out graduation announcements and invitations, finishing up their final semester of classes, and planning their future.
CCBC’s Spring 2021 Commencement will take place virtually at 10:30 am on Saturday, June 5.
With Graduation, comes a new wave of graduates ready to start a new journey and make their mark on the world. But what goes into planning a graduation? Who plans all these events for graduates and their families?
The CCBC Commencement Team plans and hosts these events for all CCBC graduating classes. Dean of College Life, Caroline Scott is a member of The CCBC Commencement Team and shares some thoughts on the upcoming ceremony.
Q: What is it like being on The CCBC Commencement Team?
A: Everyone on the team has a specialty that supports the commencement ceremony. The committee has representatives from The Bookstore, Alumni Office, Facilities, College Communications, Registrar, Enrollment and Student Services, College Life, The President’s Office, Public Safety, and Student Life.
It is a wonderful experience for all of us because we love to celebrate our graduates’ successes!
Q: What is the experience like planning virtual and in-person commencement ceremonies?
A: The experiences are very different. With a virtual ceremony, the committee works with an outside vendor to produce and support the ceremony. The committee takes care of the pre-ceremony communication, logistics, etc. Once all of those things are taken care of the outside vendor takes over and produces the actual ceremony.
In-person ceremonies involve a cadre of volunteers from the college that assist with the logistics of the on-campus celebration. These things include checking in on the graduates, lining up our graduates for the processional, assisting our guests to their seats under the tent, and transporting our guests from the parking lots to the ceremony. It is a remarkable event that includes over 6,000 students, faculty, staff and guests of our graduates!
Q: What has it been like for you to plan and arrange the graduation activities and commencement ceremony during the pandemic?
A: Last year was extremely difficult because it was very late in the semester when we had to move from the in-person ceremony to the virtual ceremony. This year, the committee has had plenty of time to prepare for the virtual ceremony.
Q: What is the process for arranging graduation regalia (cap and gown) orders?
A: The Bookstore is responsible for arranging the graduation regalia. An email was sent to students who applied for graduation by the March 15 deadline and paid the graduation fee regarding graduation regalia. The regalia can be picked up in the bookstore during the Grad Fest festivities.
Q: What was the experience like for you planning this year's graduation events and commencement ceremony?
A: For me, chairing The Commencement Planning Committee is one of the highlights of my year. Knowing that our CCBC students have accomplished so much to get to the point of graduation, makes the work enjoyable. It was tough to decide to have a virtual ceremony again this year, but it was the correct decision with several COVID-19 restrictions still in place. The expansion of Grad Fest to three days instead of one day gave our graduates more opportunity to participate in The Alumni Office festivities.
I look forward to returning to a ceremony held under the big tent on The Essex Campus and to the thousands of guests coming to campus to cheer and celebrate their graduates!
Q: Do you partner up with The Alumni Association for planning these events?
A: Yes. This year The Alumni Association is playing a bigger role in Commencement. Grad Fest (Alumni event) has been expanded to three days instead of one day as in the past. The graduates have been invited to come to either The Essex or Catonsville Campus to have a professional photograph taken to be used in the virtual ceremony. They will also receive a gift from The Alumni Association, pick up their regalia and enjoy time with other graduates in a socially distanced environment.
Q: Is there anything you would like graduates and/or others to know?
A: We are extremely proud and very excited for our CCBC graduates!
My sincere thanks to Dean Caroline Scott and The CCBC Commencement Team for taking part in this interview, as well as creating a wonderful graduation experience for the CCBC graduating class. The work that they do ensures that graduates will have memories that they'll cherish for a lifetime.
Congratulations to the CCBC Graduating Class of 2021!