Photographer's Note

Yes, we did it at two levels: The graduates were undoubtedly thinking that they had persevered through the pandemic and got to their goals and we were thinking we managed to have an in-person graduation ceremony.

To recap, in March of 2020 we started our Spring break oblivious to the fact that our lives would soon be changed. Yes, there was this coming wave of COVID-19 but we thought we were going to ride it through by keeping alert, distanced and extra sanitary. Then right in the middle of the break, we learned that students were not coming back to campus until March 23 and we were going to do distance learning until then. Spring break was extended by three days, on which the faculty would have workshops to learn how to deliver courses online. On the second day of the workshops, we learned that the students were not coming back at all, the rest of the semester was going to be online. We were going to teach out of our offices. The third day, we learned that we were not going to be permitted on campus, either, and that we had to teach from home. On one day, we vacated the campus. 2020 graduation was first postponed, then forgotten.

This academic year, we managed to deliver our courses (mostly) in person. The classrooms were rearranged to enable social distancing, major classrooms were equipped for distance learning (to the tune of $ 11,000 per classroom) for hybrid delivery. The rest of us had to make do with cameras on our laptops and with sharing our screens using PowerPoint. We met in person, except for those students who were quarantined. They had to join us online. We monitored the number of cases on campus and managed to stay open for both semesters.

When the time for graduation came, we had plan A, plan B and plan C. Plan A was to have an outdoor graduation, spread out in the football stadium. Plan B was, in case of rain, to wear raincoats instead of academic garb. The provost provided us with special raincoats to see us through the ceremony. Plan C was in case of thunder and storm, we were going to have several indoor ceremonies in installments. I am happy to report that plan A worked perfectly. Graduation was on Monday. It rained cats and dogs all weekend. But Monday morning, the sky was bright and blue. It was cool enough that we all felt comfortable under the dark academic regalia. We couldn't have asked for better weather!

Exif Data:
Make: Canon
Model: Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
Software: Adobe Photoshop 22.4 (Macintosh)
Exposure Time: 1/1000
F-Stop: f/5.6
ISO Speed Ratings: 100
Focal Length: 4681/1000 mm
Date Taken: 2021-05-10 10:11
Metering Mode: Pattern
File Size: 1698 kb
40.77038367072944, -80.32138908211026

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Additional Photos by Murat Tanyel (mcmtanyel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7471 W: 302 N: 16106] (60832)
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