A graduating College of New Caledonia student walks through a balloon arch while faculty and staff cheer during the grad bag ceremony on June 23. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

A graduating College of New Caledonia student walks through a balloon arch while faculty and staff cheer during the grad bag ceremony on June 23. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

College of New Caledonia convocation goes virtual

The graduating class of 2020 were celebrated virtually on June 25 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The College of New Caledonia (CNC) hosted a virtual convocation on Thursday, June 25 to celebrate its graduating students while still abiding by social distancing health and safety protocols due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual ceremony included speeches and well-wishes from CNC faculty, staff and students as well as message from B.C. Premier John Horgan.

“As you begin your journey outside of the classroom I want to congratulate you on an extraordinary trip to this day,” said Horgan. “I imagine it is very disappointing for you to not be celebrating together but I want you to know that as a community we are celebrating with you.”

Prior to the virtual ceremony CNC held a lively grad bag pickup event at its Quesnel campus on June 23, 2020 in which graduating students were celebrated individually as the picked up their grad cap and tassel, commemorative program, alumni pin, and CNC gift bag.

As the graduates entered the CNC building they were hit with roaring applause and cheers from faculty and staff who lined the walls and staircases while maintaining a safe physical distance. They then walked thorough a balloon arch and were greeted and congratulated by CNC Quesnel regional principal Tim Lofstrom who presented them with their gift bag.

Lofstrom said he recognizes that this has been a difficult time for the students of the college and he is proud of not only their accomplishments but also their ability to adapt to new and unexpected learning formats.

“We recognize that it’s very much been a difficult time for students both personally with the COVID-19 situation going on and how to adjust to a very different world but also our appreciation for how quickly the pivoted to take on learning in new formats that wasn’t the expectation at the beginning of the year,” said Lofstrom. “They came to us wanting to be in classrooms having that face to face interaction with a teacher and we asked them to, in a very short time, go to an online format for the most part and do their best and they really have. We are proud of their achievement but also appreciate their willingness to be patient, their willingness to work in a new way that they hadn’t foreseen having to and we are just very glad they re able to be with us.”

READ MORE: Amidst COVID-19 pandemic, CNC passes balanced budget with funds for alternate delivery methods

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