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Wingate University handed out degrees to students on May 10 and 11, 2019. Photo courtesy of Wingate

WINGATE – Wingate University’s use of a hybrid course-delivery format during the past two semesters – part in-person and part online – will carry over to spring commencement.

More than 650 graduates will cross the stage during four in-person ceremonies May 14 to 16, the last a much-delayed celebration of 2020 grads.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this year’s graduates, as well as those who finished their degrees in the midst of the COVID outbreak, their moment in the spotlight,” Wingate President Rhett Brown said. “Fortunately, rising vaccination rates and the governor’s loosening of gathering restrictions have opened the door for us to host multiple ceremonies and allow each graduate to bring five guests.”

To keep the programs short and reduce COVID risks, parts of the ceremonies will be pre-recorded.

A day or so before graduates line up on the university’s Academic Quad, they’ll receive a link to a featured address from Mandy Cohen, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as video salutes to student and faculty award winners and a performance by the University Choir.

During the in-person ceremony, in addition to the usual Pomp and Circumstance, students and their guests will hear from Brown, Provost Jeff Frederick and Joe Patterson, chairman of the university’s trustees. A quartet of university music students will offer a live performance. Those earning graduate degrees will be hooded by their professors.

The ceremonies are open to ticketed guests only, and social distancing and masks will be required.

Nearly half of the 111 students finishing their graduate programs this spring are earning doctor of pharmacy degrees from the university’s Levine College of Health Sciences. Another one-fifth are earning master of sport management degrees.

The five most popular majors among the 539 undergraduates finishing at Wingate this spring are psychology, biology, exercise science, human services and nursing.

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