GCCC to hold virtual commencement

With the COVID-19 pandemic and public gathering restrictions, Garden City Community College will be having a first tonight.

GCCC will hold its commencement exercises at 7 p.m. Friday as a virtual graduation, live-streaming the ceremony on its YouTube channel, Buster TV. Viewers can watch at https://youtu.be/b_vt6oB12wY.

This is the 100th commencement ceremony for the college. GCCC was founded in 1919 and graduated its first student, Mildred Hope, in 1920. Hope was the only sophomore among 23 students when GCCC opened.

GCCC President Dr. Ryan Ruda said the college’s decision was “not one made lightly,” as this year’s graduating class represents the 100th graduating class, a historic milestone for the institution and a special moment for the Class of 2020.

“Commencement is a time to honor the hard work, dedication, and, in some cases, sacrifices that students have made to learn and to grow,” Dr. Ruda said. “At GCCC, we believe these achievements deserve to be recognized by their individual merits. We want our students and their loved ones to be able to celebrate in a meaningful and personal way.”

Friday’s program will feature a welcome message, the national anthem, and a commencement address by Ruda. It will also have interviews with selected students speakers, Zarina Davletova and Emily R. Glenn, conferment of degrees and also various congratulatory messages from select GCCC staff, faculty and Board of Trustee members.

Viewers and supporters are encouraged to share messages of support and encouragement during the livestream through YouTube’s live chat tool.

Messages can also be shared on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) by tagging Garden City Community College or by using #GCCC100thClass.

Just over 350 students of GCCC’s 508 candidates for degrees and certificates this year will be recognized individually during the live program. These candidates represent the largest graduating class in GCCC history.

A printed copy of the program will include the names of all 508 candidates for degrees and certificates, and copies will be sent to all members of GCCC’s 100th graduating class.

A recording of Friday’s program will be available on Buster TV on www.youtube.com following the livestream: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=buster+tv.