I am writing today to inform you that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person commencement ceremony scheduled for Friday, July 31, at the William A. Floyd Amphitheater in Anderson. I know this may come as a great disappointment to you and your family. It is a disappointment to me as well because commencement is something I look forward to celebrating with students every year.
When we announced an in-person ceremony back in June, it was based on coronavirus infection levels remaining low. However, the number of infections continue to rise throughout our state, particularly in the Upstate region. One of our healthcare partners, AnMed Health, shared the following with us:
“In light of the increased spread of COVID-19 in our community over the past several weeks, we urge everyone to avoid events that bring together large groups of people,” said AnMed Health CEO Bill Manson. “Right now, in South Carolina, if there is a group of 25 or more people gathered together, there is a 99% chance it will include at least one COVID-19 positive individual, and a 40% chance that person does not know they are spreading the virus.”
Given this information, we feel it is unwise to move forward with an in-person event. However, we can celebrate our graduates virtually, and so I invite you to dress in your regalia and gather your friends and family around the computer on Friday, July 31 at 9:30 a.m. Like a traditional commencement, the virtual ceremony will celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020 and commemorate your time at TCTC. Additionally, the names of each graduate will be displayed during the virtual ceremony. To participate, go to TCTCcommencement.com at the stated time.
Credentials will be sent to you by mail, so please make sure the mailing address we have on file for you is correct. Go to eTC and log in to your account. Click the “Get Set” tab, choose “View and Update My Info,” and then select “Personal Information.” From there you can update your mailing address.
Earning a college degree, diploma or certificate is an outstanding achievement for every student, and, in particular, for those who are the first in their families to graduate from college. I applaud you for the tenacity, hard work and dedication you showed during your time as a student at TCTC, especially during your final semester as you adjusted to an online learning environment as a result of the coronavirus and the challenges you continue to face as a result of the pandemic.
I look forward to celebrating you and your many accomplishments virtually on July 31.
In your service,
Galen DeHay, Ph.D.