Albion will celebrate graduation outdoors at football stadium

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 June 2021 at 9:06 pm

ALBION – The school district is planning to celebrate graduation outside at the football stadium at 7 p.m. on June 25.

The district usually has graduation in the high school gym. Last year, when schools were limited to no more than 150 people at commencement, Albion opted to record each student receiving his or her diploma individually and then compiled a video.

This year the students will all be together for graduation. They will be limited to three tickets. The crowd will sit on the football field, between the 20-yard lines, with the grads in the bleachers.

The state has currently limited outdoor graduation ceremonies to 500 people or 20 percent of venues with more than 2,500 capacity. Indoor ceremonies are limited to 150 people or 10 percent for venues with capacity of 1,500 or more.

If it’s raining on June 25, Albion will move the ceremony to 2 p.m. on June 26. If it’s raining then, June 27 at 2 p.m. is the next option.

Jennifer Ashbery, high school principal, went over the plans with the Board of Education this evening.

The graduates will meet before the ceremony at the LGI in the high school. They will also be given the option of decorating their graduation caps, with the design to be approved by school officials.

The graduates will walk from the community entrance at the back high school parking lot, up the driveway and enter the football stadium from the east gate facing the elementary school. Faculty will line up and create a tunnel for students to pass through.

After the ceremony, the graduates can gather on the grassy area between the football stadium and high school parking lot. That differs from the past when the graduates and their families would congregate in front of the high school.

Ashbery shared other end-of-the-year highlights for seniors, including prom this Friday at Hickory Ridge. Last year’s formal event was cancelled due to the Covid restrictions.

Class night, which is usually on the Friday a week before graduation, this year will be on Thursday, June 17. That’s because there won’t be school on June 18 due to the new Juneteenth holiday.

Class night also will be celebrated in the high school gym instead of the middle school auditorium. Ashbery said she met with the class officers and they preferred the gym.

“They love the atmosphere, the warmth and the feeling of home that our high school gymnasium offers,” Ashbery said.

Members of the junior class will serve the seniors dinner before class night.

The baccalaureate service also will be on Sunday, June 20, at the First Presbyterian Church in Albion.