Cheering, dancing greets COS grads at drive-thru commencement event
College of the Siskiyous graduates were celebrated in a unique way on Friday. COS's commencement ceremony will premiere virtually this Friday, May 21, but students were able to receive their diplomas during a drive-thru ceremony.
Graduates donned their gowns and caps and drove through the parking lot as bullhorns were blared and danced music played. Staff members and administrators loudly cheered each graduate on and even danced along. This included College of the Siskiyous acting superintendent/president Char Perlas said. Char Perlas, who at one point danced along with her fellow administrators to 'Rock Lobster' by the B-52s.
Many of the graduates had big happy grins on their faces as they watched the festivities unfold.
Afterward, grads got out of their vehicles to take photos with their family who rode with them, as they were handed a hot dog lunch. Perlas said COS has every intention of hosting a normal, in-person commencement ceremony next year, but said the school wanted to offer a memorable experience for those students who graduate this year.
The celebration was staggered to be as safe as possible, giving each grad a decen amount of time to savor the moment.
Graduate Riley Witherell said after all she and her classmates have been through the past year with COVID-19 and distance learning, it was nice to have an event to mark her graduation.
“They did a good job making this day special,” she said.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said grad Stephanie Schoonmaker. She said it was a kick to see the administrators and staff cheering.
“This has been a lot of fun,” Perlas said, adding that it was special to see the students enjoying themselves. “It was great to see the graduates so happy and to celebrate their accomplishments."
Vice President of Administrative Services Darlene Melby said it was nice to get together and celebrate the student's accomplishments. Since so many people are doing work remotely, it was the first time in a while she was able to see some of them.
“It's great we were able to make a fun time out of a tough year,” she said.
The virtual Graduation Ceremony will premiere Friday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. on the COS Facebook page.