Looking through the academic and event calendar for The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, the next two weeks should be filled with upcoming events that bring the semester to a resounding close. Students finishing up major projects and assignments, and all of the end of the semester activities including Midnight Breakfast, Senior Honors Day, Night of Worship, Student Preaching, and Graduation are highlighted on the schedule. Not this year. This year, essential personnel not working from home are wearing mask, practicing social distancing, and saying goodbyes from a distance. Students held Bible studies and Coffee Hours with Dr. Lance through Zoom as all of the on-campus classes were moved to online. And yet, BCF is determined to make sure students remain connected and the 2020 graduating class have an event and a launch to remember.
The furniture in the entranceway to one of the administrative buildings, Graceville Hall, was cleared to set up a photobooth to make sure each graduate was able to take a professional picture in their cap and gown. Additional time was given to the graduates for them to go in their regalia to special places on campus and take photos with family members. This extra effort provided an opportunity for graduates to have a photographic remembrance during the most unusual of circumstances of the place they have called home.
BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen has been adamant about making an exceptional graduation event virtually to honor the accomplishments of the 2020 BCF spring graduates. Even though graduates will be given the opportunity to walk in December, they will be recognized, honored, and celebrated on their official graduation day, May 15 @ 10:00 a.m. on Facebook Live.
For those BCF students not graduating, faculty and staff have encouraged, cheered them on from the sidelines, and made sure they didn't need WiFi help or financial assistance. Virtual musical projects have been performed, general recitals and classes have met through Zoom, and the BCF Collegiate Disaster Relief Team deployed with mask and heavy equipment when a recent storm plowed through our community. And yet, smiles seem to be a little bigger as students miss their classmates, miss their dorm room, chapel, faculty, and staff members that love them dearly. BCF is more than an institution of Christian higher education, it's a family.
For more information about the The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 ext. 461 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu..