MacDuffie Plans For Modified In-Person Graduation Ceremony


The MacDuffie class of 2019 at graduation at Mount Holyoke College. Photo provided by MacDuffie Admissions.

Charlie Nguyen, Staff Writer

With everything slowly returning to normalcy, The MacDuffie School has decided that the option for physical graduation for the senior class is possible this year. Infection rates in Granby have gone down to below 5%, which is the safety mark for some in-person activities. In addition, the Commencement Committee has changed the timing of the commencement this year to 7:30 PM on June 12th in order to accommodate the seniors that currently study remotely in different time zones around the world. 

While this is a huge step from the drive-through graduation last year, some students still have mixed feelings, mainly about the safety of the event. “The biggest risk is COVID of course…I think that the school is moving in the right direction”, Paul Zhu, a senior, mentioned. Although the infection rates are as low as 4%, the risk of exposure to COVID is imminent, since this will be a sizable in-person event. A mask mandate for the event is a must, as it can ensure the safety of everyone attending the event.  

Derek Cruz, Class of 2020, during the drive-by celebration of graduation in June of 2020. Photo provided by MacDuffie Admissions.

Zack Roulier, a senior, also keeps a positive outlook on the whole situation. “There will be a lot more people vaccinated at that point and we can implement social distancing and mask-wearing to minimize the risk,” Zack said. 

Despite mixed feelings regarding the safety of the events, the majority of the seniors prefer to have in-person graduation this year. Kiet Hoang, a senior currently studying remotely in Vietnam, said that “I would love to come back and attend this in-person graduation. This is the last chance for us seniors to cherish our accomplishments for the past few years.” Graduation still creates excitement for every senior, even the one that is far away as it is a highly anticipated event.

The end of this stressful but optimistic school year is in sight. As prom is canceled, the biggest anticipated event of the year is Commencement Day. While COVID is still ready to strike the community at any moment, the school is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Poll testing and school-wise mask mandates have been incorporated as well as other social distancing methods. If this event is a success, the worst of COVID has been overcome.