By Sheila Quinn
Friday, June 10 saw the graduating class for Champlain College Lennoxville walk across the stage at Centennial Theatre for the first time since 2019. Divided in two ceremonies, the Class of 2022 arrived and gowned up starting at 8:30 to have the whole group ready for a 10:00 a.m. processional, and the second at 12:30 to be ready for 2 p.m.
The planning committee had met more times than usual, as anyone working in a school will tell you, everyone is a bit rusty when it comes to these rituals, many people on the team are new and haven’t prepared this way with this school, and it’s tough to remember where anything was put away.
All good intentions and plans can still mean last minute worries and concerns, and some take on a lion’s share of preparations, especially if they were there back in the day when graduations happened. Let’s face it, those people save the whole team, and no one needs more stress right now, so hats off to them for pulling more than their weight.
Champlain Lennoxville held a virtual graduation with no one in person in 2020; then a make-shift make-do graduation for the Class of 2021 – coping with continued Covid concerns, students processed through the Champlain Building, received their diplomas and awards in the front lobby broadcast by live feed on Facebook so that loved ones (many waiting just outside) could bear virtual witness, and then headed out the front of the building for photos.
It was a lot of fun just the same, but not the usual fanfare. There was something really special just about pulling it off at all. Everyone agreed that it was most definitely, by far, better than nothing.
Champlain is a true Townships school, with a lot of Townships ability to make something fun with limited resources – it’s a way of life here – so it was a graduation that had heart.
This year, as the students picked up their gowns from Melanie as usual, checked off of a list, off to don the always awkward mortarboard and never remembering what side the tassel is supposed to start on, moved to the other side once the diploma has been handed over (for College it turns out it starts on the right and moves to the left – I’m pretty sure I directed some students in the wrong fashion).
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By Sheila Quinn