Traditional graduation returns to TJC

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The front of a college building with someone throwing a graduation cap in the air

Tyler Junior College will be holding its bi-annual commencement ceremony this fall at 9 a.m. Dec. 17 at the Wagstaff Gymnasium on the main campus. There will be a total of four ceremonies that will be divided based on schools within the college.


9 a.m.: School of Humanities, Communications and Fine Arts; General Studies
11 a.m.: School of Engineering, Mathematics and Sciences; General Studies
1 p.m.: School of Professional and Technical Programs
3 p.m.: School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Each student participating in the commencement ceremony is allowed to bring six guests to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
Sophomore Alyssa Richey shares the importance of having her family attend the ceremony.


“It’s pretty important to have my family and friends to watch me walk because I am a first-generation student and they each have unconditionally supported through this incredible journey,” Richey said.


Britt Sabota, director of academic records and registrar, discusses the reasoning behind the limitation of guests.


“Given the ongoing health situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to avoiding any events that are high-density in nature. This means we want to provide for safe distancing of our graduates and their families,” Sabota said. “Our executive cabinet has remained in close contact with local health officials and all agree this moderate approach is the best one for our community. We are actually excited to be able to accommodate six guests for December as our prior ceremonies have been limited to 2-4 guests.”


During COVID, TJC held micro-ceremonies in place of the traditional ceremonies to ensure students had in-person graduation.
The graduation ceremonies will also be live-streamed.


“We will have each ceremony live streamed so those loved ones not able to attend-either because of the guest limit, work constraints, distance or other reason-can celebrate in real-time alongside their graduate. Live stream info will be shared at tjc.edu/graduation as we get closer to the ceremony date,” Sabota said.


Students will need to arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony. Guests who plan to attend will be checked in on arrival.


“Tickets will not be issued but we will have a list of graduates and will check off their guest counts as they arrive. Guests will simply tell us the name of the graduate they are there to celebrate,” Sabota said.


TJC does not have a dress code, however dressing in formal attire is recommend.


“Commencement is a formal celebration of each student’s academic achievement, and we encourage graduates to dress in a manner that reflects the importance of the occasion,” Sabota said. “We do not have a dress code but suggest tasteful, business casual attire. Jeans, T-shirts, flip-flops and shorts should be avoided if possible. Graduation day involves a considerable amount of walking and standing so comfortable footwear is a must. For example, very high heels may not be practical.”


TJC will also be providing students attending the commencement ceremonies with caps and gowns free of charge. Students must have registered to reserve their cap and gown before Nov. 10.


In addition to the main ceremony, TJC will be holding events for graduating students.


On Dec. 7 students can join faculty in the Vaughn Library to decorate their caps.


In addition to cap decorating, TJC will be holding the new tradition of the victory lap this semester.


“We love this fun new tradition and plan to carry it on. More details will be forthcoming regarding day, time, and starting location,” Sabota said.


For more information regarding graduation visit www.tjc.edu/graduation.