COLUMBIA, KY. — Spring commencement Saturday looked very different this year at Lindsey Wilson College.
The college president was there with the school’s beloved mascot, the victory bell rang out in recognition of the celebration, the sun was shining, but long gone were the students. It has been eight weeks since classes at LWC transitioned to a fully online format and students were required to leave campus housing.
“It’s an absolutely beautiful day here on the campus of Lindsey Wilson College,” said LWC President William T. Luckey Jr. via a recorded message to graduates posted on the College’s social media accounts. “It could only be more beautiful and special if you were here and we were actually able to (have commencement) together. But I did want to give a shout out and let you know I’m thinking about you today, and I’m just so excited and grateful and thankful you chose to invest your precious time and talent and resources here at Lindsey Wilson College.”
Restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic required the 117-year-old liberal arts college to postpone the spring 2020 commencement ceremony for the first time in college history.
Student body president and business administration graduate Jakob Beckley from Pleasureville says the disruption of his final year at LWC has been a challenge.
“Learning classes would continue online was painful,” said Beckley who received the President’s Award in April. “It was a distinct feeling of grief as I felt I had lost something I loved so much. Knowing I would never be a student on the A.P. White Campus again was a tough pill to swallow.”
LWC will award 226 undergraduate and graduate degrees to the Class of 2020. Graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail in the coming weeks. The College is working with the Student Government Association and senior class officers to determine a rescheduled date for the postponed ceremony.
“I’m excited for the day when my classmates and I can join together to celebrate all of our accomplishments,” Beckley said. “And knowing we will eventually have a commencement makes it much easier to cope as I know our class will indeed get the opportunity to share our success with our friends and families.”
The Class of 2020 is one of the more accomplished in the history of LWC. Along with the 188 students receiving an undergraduate degree, the college also awarded 38 graduate degrees, including four Ph.D., recipients from the Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision Program. Adam Hoehler from Somerset, Ky., became the first ever cadet to commission from the LWC’s Army ROTC program.
Lindsey Wilson College will announce the rescheduled date for the 111th commencement ceremony after plans are finalized.
“It was an incredibly difficult decision to postpone the College’s spring commencement ceremony,” said Luckey. “Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to celebrate the accomplishments of our precious students. Lindsey Wilson’s faculty and staff are committed to finding a date to properly recognize the Class of 2020. We look forward to the moment when we can congratulate each of you in person.”
Watch President Luckey’s full message to the Class of 2020 by going the Lindsey Wilson College Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LindseyWilsonOfficial.