Members of class of 2020 finally walk in graduation ceremony 1 year later

Hundreds of Polk State College students finally got their diplomas at a graduation ceremony at the R.P. Funding Center in Lakeland on Thursday.

Last year, Polk State canceled its graduations because of the pandemic. So this year, members of the class of 2021 were joined by members of the class of 2020 who didn’t have the chance to walk back then.

Joshua Jackson, who just received his associate’s degree, said it was frustrating having to wait but said it was worth it.

Expect to see a lot more loosening of the COVID-19 rules this fall. The University System’s Board of Governors just announced that they expect to see the state’s 12 universities "increase classroom occupancy to pre-COVID capacity by the 2021-22 academic year and return to pre-COVID operations."

The Board of Governors also anticipates "returning to full-person participation in athletic and social activities" on campuses, including fan participation in stadiums and arenas.

It seems like a big step towards going back to the way things used to be before the pandemic hit. However, life as we knew it may still be a ways off.

"I would predict with regards to classrooms, it may be spring of 2022," commented Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti, president of Polk State College.


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