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Franklin College will combine commencement and homecoming

Response to COVID-19 restrictions
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Posted at 2:32 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 15:11:04-04

FRANKLIN -- With campus closed and May commencement canceled, Franklin College has come up with a unique way to honor the Class of 2020.

The graduation ceremony, which had been scheduled for May 23, will take place in mid-October as part Homecoming weekend at the Johnson County college.

Franklin College President Kerry Prather said, “So much work is required to prepare for commencement, much of which cannot be done remotely, that it would be logistically impossible to retain that date. Even if we are blessed with an incremental opening of normal societal activities in the coming month, that will certainly not include mass gatherings like commencement.”

Prather added that combining the Homecoming and Alumni Weekends’ traditional rituals will make for the most exciting, impressive commencement in school history.

Additionally, the college’s baccalaureate service, originally scheduled for Friday, May 22, has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 23. The college will provide a video recording of the traditional baccalaureate service via its website that will include keynote speaker Dr. Michael Gilligan, president emeritus of the Henry Luce Foundation. Gilligan will deliver his address remotely in advance.

“We are excited to gather the Class of 2020 and their families with the greater Franklin College family, albeit virtually, to give thanks and celebrate together on May 23,” said Prather. “The strength and resilience our seniors have demonstrated at each turn of events this year has been reassuring for the present and inspiring for the future. We are forever proud of them.”