This story was edited with updates December 7, 2020.
In order to recognize graduates this fall, officials at Southeast Missouri State University worked towards the goal of holding a safe ceremony following covid guidelines.
Originally, the fall commencement ceremony was scheduled for Dec. 19. Dates were rearranged and Southeast held the ceremony at the Show-Me-Center on Nov. 21 to celebrate.
Typically tickets are required to attend the ceremony, but due to capacity limits graduates received up to six tickets each for family and friends, making sure seats were assigned to stay socially distanced.
To accommodate loved ones who couldn’t physically attend, the ceremony was live-streamed through the OVC Digital Network.
Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas attended the ceremony virtually uplifting graduates with an inspiring poem, written by french poet Guillaume Apollinaire.
“Come to the edge he said. We can't, we're afraid they responded. Come to the edge he said, we can’t we will fall'' they responded. Come to the edge he said, and so they came and he pushed them and they flew. My dear Redhawks today you have come to the edge, today we are pushing you, and today you will fly away.”
The main speaker for the ceremony was Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck, professor and chairman of the Mass Media Department. Buck left a sincere motivational message with the graduates. “Don’t be the dream catcher, be a dream chaser” she said.
“Dream catchers become complacent and they don't have any motivation to do anything else. Dreamchasers are those who work hard,but they play hard too. They use their dreams as fuel, and that fuel moves them on to the next part of the journey. They recognize times will get hard but know not to give up or settle because this world needs dreamers,” said Buck. “Dreamchasers are who you are, that is your destiny. So fuel up Redhawks it’s time to soar and chase your dreams.”
Over 600 students were recognized at the fall commencement ceremony, and were honored for their achievements.
The Southeast Arrow is a contributing partner with KRCU Public Radio.