Anthony LaRosa
Staff Writer

More than 1900 Lorain County Community College graduates along with the largest class of University Partnership graduates, 362, will receive their diplomas during a virtual commencement at 9:30 a.m. on May 15.
As was in 2020 though, commencement will look different than it has for previous classes.
Last year, LCCC’s graduation commencement was 100 percent virtual. As Covid-19 guidelines have changed since then, this year the college will be offering an in-person stage crossing in conjunction with the main virtual ceremony.
“Our main commencement will be a virtual event similar to what we produced last year,” Alison Musser, LCCC’s director of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives, said. “We are also offering a stage crossing on our Stocker Center stage where graduates can have their names called, cross the stage, and receive their diploma from Dr. Marcia Ballinger (LCCC president).”
In order to maintain social distancing, guests will be given timeslots on when to arrive and the graduating students are able to bring upto two family members for the in-person event.
“Our graduates have worked so hard and persevered during the most difficult of times. While we are not able to bring together all our graduates and their families physically at the same time just yet, we wanted to create a special and safe experience to celebrate their extraordinary accomplishments,” Ballinger said. “We are so proud of all the graduates of the Class of 2021.  Earning a college degree is always a grand accomplishment.  But, to do so in such a challenging environment takes an extraordinary amount of effort, resiliency and perseverance. We are thrilled to celebrate all these great graduates and their families.”
As part of the commencement celebratory events this year, the college will be creating a large-scale public recognition display titled “Doors to Opportunity.”
Musser added, “If people can’t come and have their ceremony, we can at least have them come and see this recognition piece that is a tribute to this class as well as the graduates that came before.”
The display will be installed outside near the Campana Center for Ideation and Invention. It will consist of 21 full-size doors and feature an augmented reality component. Families are welcome to visit the display to reflect on the accomplishments of students over the past year.
“[Commencement] is the day and time we can all come together as a campus and celebrate everything we stand for as an institution. Getting these students to that finish line is what we work towards all year long,” Musser said.
Graduates are encouraged to register online at www.lorainccc.edu/graduation for instructions on submitting videos and pictures for the event.
Graduates are able to pre-register for the Stocker Center stage crossing at www.lorainccc.edu/graduation and will receive a day and time closer to the weekend of May 15.

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