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JCTC celebrates grads with drive-thru ceremony

Jefferson Community and Technical College faculty and staff greeted graduates at its downtown campus.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Walking across the stage as a college graduate is a big moment. While the coronavirus pandemic disrupted Jefferson Community and Technical College's usual plans, the school still took time to honors its grads.

JCTC held a drive-thru ceremony for its graduates at the downtown campus May 21 while waiting for a formal commencement ceremony scheduled in October.

"We're celebrating about 2,500 graduates who have earned their credentials, their diploma, their associate degree in the past year," JCTC President Dr. Ty Handy said.

Handy, dressed in his commencement attire, joined staff in handing out credentials and some special swag: a t-shirt, Jefferson graduate mask and more. Students stayed in their cars with their families, celebrating at a distance.

"I wasn't sure if we were gonna get to do any type of graduation ceremony, but this is really nice that they're doing that for the graduates," graduate Melanie Sykes said.

Fellow graduate Korovah Munyeneh said the gesture makes a difference during such a difficult time. Grad Kimberly Conn, participating in the ceremony with her loved one, echoed Munyeneh's sentiments.

"It's a big deal, especially considering that we can't put on the cap and gown, we can't walk," Conn said. "It helps you celebrate your accomplishment."

The University of Louisville and Bellarmine University both held virtual graduations for the Class of 2020 while waiting for formal commencements. Jefferson County Public Schools will also host virtual ceremonies on its YouTube page, hoping to have in-person graduations in the fall.

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