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Florida A&M University prepares for in-person Spring graduations

Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 17:40:40-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M University leaders are working week by week to finalize plans for roughly 12,000 graduates to participate in in-person commencement ceremonies at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The University announced Tuesday they'll hold six ceremonies between Friday, April 23 and Sunday, April 25.

"We are also committed to celebrating it is a major milestone in the life of our students," said associate provost for academic and faculty affairs Dr. Genyne Boston.

Students like Preston Jackson said it's worth getting excited about.

"I think it's a great thing man, truly. I think it's a great experience the kids deserve it," said Jackson.

The University is going to great lengths to keep participants safe.

"We are going to limit the number of guests that each of the students will be able to have an attendance," said Boston. "We have a temperature kiosk that we hope to be able to use at the different entrances for the stadium, and we are looking to hire additional staff to manage crowd control to ensure appropriate social distancing."

Biology pre-med senior Tamia Williams says she's still hesitant.

"No, not me. I wouldn't go. I would just stick to seeing it online, but I wouldn't go."

For students and parents like Williams, there will be a hybrid model with a few virtual elements for home viewing, like the soloist who does the national anthem, and the charge the University gives to graduates from the alumni Association.

University leaders are also planning an additional ceremony in the coming months for those who were not able to celebrate in person due to the pandemic.

"My one-man Demarcus, he did construction with me and he graduated last semester. He didn't get a chance to walk in front of his kid, and he's been here for years. So I feel like you know it's deserved. Some parents, they're going to be proud," said Jackson.

Details on that additional ceremony are still forthcoming.