Local college plans virtual homecoming, graduation for students

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POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — One college is trying to allow their students to have all the college experiences while staying safe from the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting its homecoming and other events online.

College of The Ozarks (C of O) will host a virtual homecoming Nov. 5 through 7 and a virtual Baccalaureate/Commencement activities on Nov. 8.

Administrators of C of O say their working closely with local health authorities and CDC guidelines to make their decisions.

Dr. Eric Bolger, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, says the primary factor in the decision to have a virtual graduation was student safety.

“At this time, COVID-19 is still prevalent in the local community and region,” Bolger said. “The college is doing all it can to keep the virus from campus, including putting restrictions on students and other campus community members. In light of this situation, the wisest course of action was to plan to have the ceremonies scheduled for Nov. 8 online.”

Bolger says the focus of Commencement will be the students. The names of the graduates will be read along with their major, academic honors and a photo.

“We were hoping to welcome all our deserving graduates back to campus to recognize them during live commencement ceremonies, but we also knew we had to weigh the risks of bringing graduates and their families and loved ones back to campus,” Bolger said.

Angela Williamson, director of alumni relations, was planning live events for Homecoming 2020 while also monitoring the situation with COVID closely.

“Our Homecoming tradition will continue in an abbreviated way this fall, with virtual events offered online Nov. 5-7,” Williamson said. “Many planned to return to celebrate milestone reunions, and we will honor all reunion years ending in ‘0’ and ‘5,’ along with the other designated reunions at Homecoming 2021. Although our on-campus festivities are canceled, we look forward to celebrating friendships and reuniting from a distance as we celebrate Homecoming 2020 – Your Time to Shine.”

For additional information, you can call the public relations director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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