Pellissippi State Community College has decided it will not hold an in-person Commencement ceremony this August for its spring and summer graduates as was hoped. With the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, the college decided it was not safe to move forward with the specially scheduled ceremony.
“When we postponed our May Commencement, I was hopeful that we would be able to hold the ceremony in August,” said President L. Anthony Wise Jr.
The Knox County Health Department reported 91 new positive COVID-19 cases Thursday. Federal officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies visited Knoxville last week after declaring the area a hotspot for the coronavirus.
Pellissippi State’s summer graduates will be notified by postcard when their diplomas are available for pick up, and the college also will offer all 2020 graduates photo opportunities on campus when it is safe to do so, Wise said.
Spring and summer graduates will be allowed to walk in the college’s next Commencement ceremony as well.
“We are so proud of the diligence and resilience our 2020 graduates have shown, completing their associate degrees under what have been the most unusual and stressful circumstances in the 46-year history of our college,” Wise said. “Pellissippi State is a family, and we want to celebrate with our graduates who have worked so hard to reach this milestone. But, like with our individual families, the health and safety of our Pellissippi State community is our top priority.”