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News: What will graduation look like for seniors in 2021?

By Emily Newburn

On Wed., May 26, the class of 2021 will be able to celebrate their graduation all together, outdoors at Northern Illinois University. 

Last year, 2020 graduates had no idea that their graduation wouldn’t be anything close to normal. On August 8 of last year, instead of a typical graduation ceremony, seniors participated in a “walk across the stage” at the Bulldog Stadium. Students were given an hour window to arrive at BHS with their families between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. After entering the stadium, graduates had to pick up their name card and hand it to an announcer. The announcer then read the students’ names as they walked across a stage that was set up on the field, wearing their cap and gown. 

All family members who attended the event had to adhere to COVID health guidelines and were required to wear masks and social distance.  Graduates were allowed to remove their masks briefly while on stage. While this event gave seniors the opportunity to be honored for their accomplishments, they were unable to celebrate their achievements with their peers and classmates. In addition, they missed out on several milestone high school events, like prom and sports events. 

This year, 2021 graduates will have a little more normalcy in their graduation. Batavia High School seniors will get to do what last year’s seniors did not: finish the last couple of months of school in person and celebrate their graduation with their classmates. On Wed., May 26, graduates and their families are invited to an outdoor ceremony held at NIU’s Huskie Stadium. Each graduate will be given seven tickets for graduation to give to friends and family. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. 

“For a while, we weren’t certain if we were even going to have an in-person graduation, so I feel really lucky that we have the opportunity to do that,” said senior Sammi Anselme.  “I’m really looking forward to graduating and walking across the stage to get my diploma.”

Some of the ceremony details are still being planned, but students and parents will receive a video the week before graduation describing what they should expect at NIU. More information will also be posted to the BHS social media pages at a later date. In the case of rain, the ceremony will be held the following day, on Thurs., May 27, at 7:00 p.m.

“We’ve worked really hard this year, and being at home and having school on Google meets for so much of the time has been a lot to deal with,” said Anselme. “I’m so appreciative that we are going to have the chance to be all together for our graduation and celebrate everything we have achieved.”

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