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Seniors mark socially distanced graduations

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/15/20, 12:02 pm

The coronavirus has canceled traditional graduation ceremonies for high school and college seniors across the country, but that hasn’t stopped students and their families from celebrating. Notables such as former President Barack Obama are pitching in for a televised prime-time commencement special for 2020’s high school seniors on Saturday night. NBA star LeBron James, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, singer Ben Platt, and others are participating in the show, which will air at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, and more than 20 other channels and streaming networks. Facebook has pulled together a similarly star-studded virtual event for college seniors on Friday.

What’s happening closer to home? Schools, communities, and families have found creative ways to celebrate their graduates. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway agreed to host a local high school graduation—with an estimated 235,000 permanent seats, it has more than enough room to keep everyone socially distanced. Many high schools are honoring seniors with yard signs, billboards, and other public displays. Torrence Burson of Memphis, Tenn., pulled together a front yard college graduation ceremony for his daughter, Gabrielle Pierce, featuring a stage, a podium for speeches, and an audience in the street.

Dig deeper: Read Jamie Dean’s report on how parents, students, and teachers are adapting to virtual learning.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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