At the Long Beach City College District Board of Trustees remote meeting, officials announced the class of 2020 will be having a virtual commencement ceremony.
Superintendent-President Lou Anne Bynum announced that the commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 will be held virtually on Thursday, June 4. Students graduating will have the option of participating in the virtual ceremony and also participate in person in 2021.
“There are some clever innovative ways to highlight the students during virtual ceremonies and so the planning committee is working on that and so we’re kind of excited about what that’s going to look like for the students that have a chance to kind of customize their own presentation,” Bynum said.
Board of Trustees president Vivian Malauulu suggested having students graduate by department to minimize online traffic and to make the ceremony process more “user-friendly” by allowing graduates to notify their friends and family with a specific time.
Student Trustee Jenna Jimenez recommended that graduation caps and gowns be sent to student’s houses so that graduates have a more memorable experience.
“Have them wear the gown, send it to their house just so that they have the feeling of the sash and the tassel, I think that’s very symbolic,“ Jimenez said.
A valedictorian, the president of the Board of Trustees, and some of the school’s constituency groups will be speaking during the ceremony which is estimated to be a three to four hour event.
A limited return was announced for the fall 2020 semester.
“We don’t know for sure if that’s going to be the case, if we’re free to open up completely that would be wonderful and we can make that adjustment fairly quickly,” Bynum said.
She let the audience know that LBCC was following the agencies that were putting out directions for them.
“Whether it’s the state, which will be the state of California, the County of LA, the City of Long Beach, Long Beach Department of Public Health, we follow those as best as we can.”
Jimenez praised the college for its “laptop-lending” program through which 300 laptops were distributed to students in need. She also praised the Viking Vault’s food distribution program to LBCC students.
“It’s scary not being able to, you know, fund yourself and feed yourself, I think that it’s a threat, so I’m so thankful that we’re able to do that,” Jimenez said.
During her report, Bynum acknowledged that there’s a possibility the LBCC Liberal Arts Campus might be used by the City, much like LBCC’s Pacific Coast Campus is currently home to a coronavirus rapid assessment clinic, although nothing has been set in stone.
“That’s pending, we haven’t heard anything for sure about that and I think it just depends on how the virus goes, and what the curve looks like and how the hospitals and medical centers can handle any search that might be there,” Bynum said.
It was also announced that Bynum has been asked to serve on the City’s Economic Recovery Advisory Group, representing education.