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​UIW and OLLU hold drive-thru graduation celebrations, virtual graduation ceremonies

January 12, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: In the Press, Breaking News

UIW and OLLU hold drive-thru graduation celebrations, virtual graduation ceremonies

In response to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) and Our Lady of Lake University (OLLU) held drive-through graduation celebrations and virtual graduation ceremonies the weekend of December 12-13.

At UIW, students and their familieswere invited to tour the campus in their regalia and enjoy the Light the Way Christmas lights from the safety of their vehicles. There was an opportunity for graduates to take a free, professional picture in a designated area in front of the UIW Administration building. Masks were required for everyone while on campus. On December 13 the university held its virtual ceremony for fall 2020 graduates.

At OLLU, graduates picked up diplomas on December 12 in drive-thru procession. A virtual commencement ceremony was held from Sacred Heart Chapel. Sister Pearl Caesar, CDP, superior general of the Congregation of Divine Providence, delivered the commencement address for graduates, who viewed the address on devices in their vehicles.

About 800 students from the spring, summer and fall semesters were graduating, and about 450 participated in commencement ceremonies.

Following the commencement address, graduates proceeded to the Main Building Plaza in their vehicles to receive their diplomas. They had their picture taken with President Diane E. Melby and had their degrees conferred in front of Main Building.

Guests remained in vehicles but were able to view graduates having their degree conferred as vehicles were allowed to drive in front of the commencement stage. The Registrar Office staff handed out diplomas while wearing face masks and shields.