MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Many college graduates missed out on the chance to celebrate their achievements last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commencement ceremonies were canceled, postponed or moved to a virtual format.
Now, Maryville College will hold in-person commencement ceremonies once again. There will be ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021, officials said. They will be held on May 8 and May 9 on Honaker Field.
The Class of 2020 will be able to attend the ceremony on May 8, celebrating their work from last year. Maryville College President Emeritus Dr. William Bogart will be the commencement speaker. He was set to preside over the commencement last May before it was postponed.
Bogart will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor will also receive an honorary doctor of public service degree after he delivered a commencement address to the Class of 2020 in a virtual ceremony.
The Class of 2021 will be able to attend on May 9. Cassius Cash, the first Black superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be the commencement speaker. He will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Attendees will be required to wear masks, and seating will follow COVID-19 guidelines from the college. The events are not open to the public, but graduates will be given four tickers to share with family and friends who can attend the ceremony.
It will also be live-streamed on the Maryville College website and through its Facebook page.