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Camp will hold virtual graduation May 14

For reasons of continued safety for students, faculty, staff, and the public, Paul D. Camp Community College will hold its annual Commencement Ceremony virtually.

The college is producing a video, which will air on the Camp YouTube channel at 7 p.m. on May 14. The video, which is being produced by Live Media Concepts, will include graduation speeches, a photo presentation of all 2021 Camp graduates, and a tribute for the college’s 50th anniversary.

Although Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has eased pandemic restrictions some for college and high school commencements, Camp staff has determined that holding the in-person commencement ceremony at the Camp Workforce Development Center would not be in the best health interests of those who would be in attendance.

“We explored several possible scenarios and had much debate before this decision was made,” said Jeff Zeigler, director of institutional advancement. “We would of course prefer if graduation was in person. However, there were several factors that went into the final decision.”

These factors included the continued potential exposure of students, faculty, staff and visitors to COVID-19, especially because not everyone involved would have received the COVID-19 vaccinations. Also, only a small number of visitors would be allowed in the building due to social distancing requirements, and graduates and visitors would not be allowed to express themselves during the ceremony, according to the restrictions established by Northam.

Camp staff also discussed an outdoor alternative, but decided not to pursue this idea because of concerns about accessibility from parking lots to grassy areas where the ceremony would be held

and lack of a viable backup plan in case of inclement weather.

“After weighing all these factors, it became clear that the best alternative for the 2021 commencement would be to hold it virtually,” said Dr. Dan Lufkin, outgoing president of Camp Community College.