High schools and colleges across the nation have had to make adjustments due the COVID-19 pandemic and those in Northeast Kansas and Atchison are no different.

Thursday the state received clarification from the Kansas Department of Education that any in-person graduation ceremonies, regardless of crowd limit — is prohibited in Phase I of the Governor’s orders to reopen the state.

Atchison High School

Atchison High will wait until the community enters into Phase 2 to plan for any type of graduation exercises. Families will have at least 1-week notice when they schedule it so they can have plenty of time to make plans. Students will come in and be filmed walking across the stage and posing for a picture as they pick up their diploma. Students will still be limited to the number of guests that can come in the school.

Atchison County Community High School

ACCHS will plan on having a in person graduation on Sunday, July 26 depending on the current conditions. Seniors will be in their cap and gown Friday night at the ACCHS circle drive for a parade to drive through in salute to them. at 8:20 p.m. The parade will pick them up at 8:40 p.m. to take them through the community.

Maur Hill-Mount Academy

MHMA will have an in person graduation around the beginning of August after hearing much feedback from parents and students that they wanted to celebrate with friends and people they know. MHMA has a number of international students that will probably not be able to attend in person at the time and steps will be taken to involve them virtually.

Benedictine College

Benedictine will hold commencement at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 25. Commencement celebrations are noted as followed:

Friday, July 24

On Friday, July 24 will be the traditional Champagne Brunch and immediately following the brunch, graduates will take a class photo on Legacy Field.

1:00 PM: Engineering Ceremony

There will be a reception for the Engineers. Location to be determined.

1:00 PM: Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Benedictine College Nursing Program graduates will receive their pins during a special ceremony. Location to be determined.

4:00 PM: March of Light

At 3:30 p.m., graduates line up in front of the Haverty Center, dressed in cap and gown. College faculty and administration will line up along the Raven Walk—in standard academic processional order, with the most junior faculty at the top and the most senior at the bottom.

4:30 PM: Baccalaureate Mass

Mass is being celebrated by the Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, DD, Archbishop of the Diocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Location to be determined.

Alternate Rain Plan: In case of inclement weather, graduates will assemble in an indoor location based on where the Mass takes place.

6:00 PM: President’s Reception

Immediately following Mass, graduates, along with their family, and faculty and staff are invited to be the guests of President Stephen D. Minnis and the Benedictine College Administration for the President’s Reception. This is an occasion to enjoy light refreshments and visit with family and friends as well as College personnel. Beer and wine will be available for sale. Location to be determined.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

7:30-9:30 AM: Breakfast

There will be a continental breakfast available for all Commencement attendees. Location to be determined.

9:00 AM: Graduate Lineup

Graduates will assemble in cap and gown at 9:00 a.m. in front of St. Benedict’s Abbey. Graduates must pick up their reader card from college staff at the steps of the Abbey Church and then proceed to line up as directed. The procession begins at approximately 9:45 a.m. and will move to the front doors of the St. John Paul II Student Center and into the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium. Procession order for Commencement is alphabetically by major.

Alternate Rain Plan: In case of inclement weather, the indoor location to assemble is the Old Gym inside the Haverty Center. (Graduates will be directed to their departmental place for proper assembly.) Faculty and staff will line up in the hallway outside the Dining Hall.

10:00 AM: Commencement

The Commencement ceremony will be held in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium inside the St. John Paul II Student Center.

12:00 PM: Diploma Pickup

Student diplomas will be available for graduates to pick up in the Dining Hall immediately following the Commencement ceremony.

Any graduates who cannot attend the ceremony will receive their diplomas in the mail.

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