Local educators begin unveiling graduation plans


ETSU has announced plans to do virtual commencement ceremonies on May 8-9 while Milligan College and Science Hill plan to hold traditional ceremonies later this summer.

ETSU will confer some 2,200 degrees virtually as Commencement Exercises will be streamed online and broadcast locally for the Class of 2020 during the weekend of May 8-9. Graduates, their families and friends can watch the virtual commencement on Saturday, May 9. The ceremony will be streamed online beginning at 10 a.m. WJHL News Channel 11 will broadcast the ETSU Virtual Commencement Ceremony at 12:30 p.m.

ETSU’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy and Quillen College of Medicine will hold separate virtual ceremonies on Friday, May 8. More information can be found at www.etsu.edu/classof2020.

Meanwhile, Science Hill’s graduation plans were approved by the Johnson City Board of Education on Monday afternoon. Science Hill will honor its graduates with a senior recognition video and will also plan a traditional ceremony that will take place in either June or July.

The Science Hill administration will plan to have a ceremony June 19-20 inside the Freedom Hall Civic Center or Kermit Tipton Stadium. If a ceremony on that date is not possible, Science Hill will plan to host a ceremony on July 24-25, pending approval by local and state public health and governmental authorities.

Science Hill principal Todd Barnett said that the school could host as many as six ceremonies, if necessary, and will live stream all graduation ceremonies to ensure that families who cannot attend will still be able to see their student graduate.

“During this process, we discussed several possibilities for Class of 2020 recognition and Graduation activities,” Barnett said. “After getting feedback from a variety of sources, most notably members of our senior class, it became apparent that a traditional ceremony would be the ideal choice.

“We want to do everything we can to allow our seniors to have a ceremony they have earned. To that end, our plan is to make every effort to have a traditional graduation, provided the guidance from local and state authorities allows us to do so.”

The Science Hill Class of 2020 senior recognition video will include photos of the Class of 2020 in slideshow format and other graduation ceremony staples, including speeches from district administration, Science Hill principal Todd Barnett and SGA senior president Saanvi Goenka.

The senior recognition video will be streamed on Saturday, May 30 at 10 a.m. on Johnson City Schools website, social media channels and the JCTV Station on channel 192 (Charter) and channel 17 (Comcast). The video will be made available to students and families as a keepsake.

Please check for updates at ScienceHill.JCSchools.org.

Milligan’s commencement for the class of 2020 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug. 15, in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium located in Seeger Chapel. The rescheduled commencement date remains subject to change, and Milligan will reserve Sunday, Oct. 25, the conclusion of the next homecoming weekend, as an alternative date.

Milligan’s spring commencement ceremony was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 9, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the ceremony will not be held until August, degrees will be conferred at the end of the spring semester and graduates will receive their diplomas by mail in late May.

A complete schedule of graduation activities and any updates will be available online at www.milligan.edu/commencement.


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