A year and four months after earning their degrees, JMU’s class of 2020 will walk the stage Sept. 3. The graduates will become the first class to move their tassels at the Atlantic Union Bank Center, which opened in Nov. 2020. But some alumni feel it’s too little, too late.
After a largely virtual senior year, Harrisonburg High students celebrate at their in-person graduation
One by one, Harrisonburg High School seniors crossed the stage at JMU’s Bridgeforth Stadium to receive their diplomas on Saturday. For the class of 2021 and their families, this wasn’t just a milestone — it was an experience they weren’t certain they’d have until a few weeks ago.
Today was supposed to be the start of the pandemic-delayed graduation ceremony for JMU’s class of 2020. But after months of anxiously and eagerly waiting, JMU 2020 seniors learned through a July 6 email that the rescheduled Aug.7-8 ceremony would be delayed. Again.
About 1,300 local students graduated over the last several days, with Harrisonburg High School seniors receiving their diplomas one at a time in a near empty football field and county grads celebrating in front of a sea of cars at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds.
Superintendent Michael Richards told the School Board Tuesday that the city schools might rely on a hybrid system of remote and in-person learning in the fall, but school officials are waiting for the state to release guidelines for reopening schools.