The uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) and many other colleges and universities to cancel their traditional graduation services. According to BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen, "While we will not meet for graduation in our usual setting, we will have a graduation ceremony to honor these folks who have worked so long and hard. We will celebrate their accomplishments." The Baptist College of Florida will hold its Spring 2020 Graduation on May 15, 2020, but it will be conducted in a very nontraditional manner.
The administration at the college has planned a ceremony with all of the pomp and circumstance usually associated with such events. Kinchen noted, "We will have all of the elements of our normal proceedings except for the fact that the graduates and their friends and families will not be in attendance." The setting for the ceremony will be the R.G. Lee Chapel on the campus in Graceville, Florida. The President, Academic Dean, Chair of the Division of Music and Worship and the Registrar will participate. After the playing of the processional, the President of the College will lead in prayer and welcome all of those who are participating through various means of telecommunication. From that point, all elements of a normal graduation will be observed. During regular graduation ceremonies, the name of the graduate will be read and the President will present them with their diploma as they walk across the platform. In the Spring 2020 Graduation, the name of each graduate will be read and their portrait along with their degree and hometown will be displayed on the screen. After all of the diplomas have been presented, the President will confer the degrees which have been earned. The ceremony will conclude with the singing of the College hymn, a benediction, and the playing of the recessional.
President Kinchen stated, "I know that we cannot give our graduates all of the excitement which they had anticipated; however, we are going to give them a top-quality graduation ceremony that they can enjoy along with family and friends. We hope that they will gather with loved ones in safe settings around the country to celebrate their achievements. Understandably, we have given up much because of COVID-19; but I am committed to making May 15, 2020, a day which graduates of The Baptist College of Florida and their friends and families will remember long into the future."
For more information on BCF's innovative graduation, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.