Gateway Technical College graduate Darwin Lampkins had one basic thought as he went to the drive-through graduation celebration at the Racine Campus on Thursday.
“I did it. I graduated,” he said. “I thought, ‘This is a great moment for me.’ I think accomplishment is good for a person in life. It was good for me to see where I came from, where I’m at today – and where I’m going. It was great to see the accomplishment of graduation.”
Lampkins, of Racine, earned a Gateway Human Services associate degree.
Gateway Technical College held the fourth of its four drive-through celebrations Thursday, this time at its Racine Campus, to honor graduates who were part of the Spring 2020 virtual commencement ceremony.
“It is an honor to recognize all 2020 Gateway Technical College graduates with this celebration event,” said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht. “Gateway graduates are inspirational leaders for their families, the workforce and our community.”
Photos from the event can be found here: https://bit.ly/RacineCampusGTC
Three celebrations were initially planned, and the Racine Campus event was added for August. The initial Racine Campus celebration in July had to be shifted at the last minute to the SC Johnson iMET Center, so organizers decided to hold an additional event on the Racine Campus for graduates who had hoped that one would be held there, too.
The event offered a safe and fun way for the college to celebrate its technical diploma and associate degree graduates. Students in the college’s United Student Government partnered with the college to host the event as a way to recognize graduates who were unable to gather as a group for the commencement ceremony in May.
The COVID-19 pandemic kept the college from holding its typical in-person commencement ceremony, so an online ceremony was held in its place in May. College leaders still wanted to hold an in-person celebration but, in light of restrictions and the health risks posed for large in-person gatherings, decided on the format of a drive-through event.
Students were provided an official diploma cover, congratulatory yard sign and other items to celebrate their accomplishment. A large Gateway photo backdrop was set up for students and any family members in the vehicle with them to stop and take a photo to mark the occasion and a DJ was on hand, playing graduation-themed music.
Social distancing practices were followed and all staff members and students were required to wear masks in an effort to make the event as fun and safe as possible for everyone involved.