Motlow Commencement

Packing graduation boxes, are from left, Brenda Cannon, co-chair of Commencement Committee and executive director of community relations; Mark Landrum, director of learning space technologies; Tammy Wiseman, internal auditor; Debra Smith, interim dean of students; Emily Seal, associate professor of theatre; and Yer Xiong, secretary III.

Motlow State Community College will hold its 2021 Commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 9. Graduates, their friends and families and the public can view the ceremony at Motlow.com/graduation.

According to Mae Sanders, Motlow registrar, the college will confer degrees on 1,226 students, who make up the 2021 graduating class, in the virtual ceremony. Motlow’s commitment to its graduating students and their families’ health and safety led college leadership to determine that an on-ground commencement is not in the community’s best interest because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The safety and wellbeing of our students, as well as their families, must be our first priority,” said Scott Shasteen, Motlow Director of Communications. “Likewise, the health and safety of our faculty and staff must also factor into the decision on how to celebrate graduation. There are no facilities large enough to observe the necessary social distancing requirement, so we have elected to host a virtual graduation ceremony this year.”

Graduates who completed their Intent to Graduate Form will receive graduation boxes via UPS. The boxes include:

• A cap and gown (if the March 15 deadline was met)

• Diploma cover

• A congratulatory letter from Motlow President Dr. Michael Torrence

• The latest edition of Motlow’s award-winning magazine Ovation

• A special gift

“The graduation gift boxes were a huge hit last year, so we are building on that concept for the 2021 class,” added Shasteen. “The chief elements our students asked us to include this year were to provide gowns and incorporate graduate photos, and we have.”

The virtual ceremony will include a significant number of features that an on-ground event would, including processional music; Director of Libraries Sharon Edwards singing the national anthem and alma mater; remarks from Dr. Torrence and Executive Vice President of Student Success and Academic Affairs and Special Assistant to the President Dr. Greg Sedrick; and the reading of graduate names.

In partnership with StageClip, a company that specializes in virtual ceremonies, Motlow is providing students the opportunity to take a ‘selfie’ in their graduation regalia and upload it to be included in the ceremony. Each graduating student will receive a personalized highlight reel from the ceremony, including their video message and photo to download, view and share on social media.