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NW-SCC to hold in-person graduation ceremony

After a year of cancellations because of COVID-19, students at Northwest-Shoals Community College will get to have their hard work recognized, as the college is offering an in-person graduation ceremony.

The traditional commencement ceremony will take place May 15 on the Shoals campus, with multiple ceremonies throughout the day.

“It is so exciting to be able to honor our graduates during a traditional ceremony for their educational achievements,” said Glenda Colagross, NW-SCC president. “Our students have worked so hard to get to this point. It is truly amazing considering everything they overcame in the past year.

“Commencement is so important to our graduates and their families,” Colagross added, “and we look forward to welcoming them to campus May 15.”

Not only will the ceremony recognize this year’s graduates, but it will also recognize everyone who graduated during the summer semester of 2019 through this semester.

The day will begin with a nursing graduation and pinning ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Other ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with all ceremonies being live streamed on Facebook.

Social distancing will be required for all guests and graduates. Guests are encouraged to bring outdoor folding chairs, and NW-SCC will also provide folding chairs.

Spruce Pine native and Phil Campbell High School graduate Brent Gonzalez said he was shocked but appreciative when he found out there would be a graduation ceremony.

“We pushed for it, and finally they gave us the breaking point and said we were going to be able to do it,” Gonzalez said.

Phil Campbell native and PCHS graduate Ethan Hall said it is great to know his accomplishments will be recognized.

“I was surprised we are able to do this given everything we weren’t able to do this year,” Hall said. “It is like this provides a sense of normalcy.”

Gonzalez said getting to walk across the stage for graduation means more to him than words can describe, especially being the first in his family to reach this point.

“It was like this was Northwest’s way of giving back to me,” Gonzalez said. “My time here has meant everything, so I am so grateful I get to have this.”