MSA provides a way for grads to walk

Published 12:15 pm Monday, April 20, 2020

The Mississippi School of the Arts is taking a different approach to 2020 graduation exercises.

Rather than postpone graduation or eliminate it entirely, the school has come up with an alternative — individual ceremonies.

“With all it takes to get into MSA, to persevere through the long days, the creative process and the production of work, you deserve to be celebrated properly,” read a letter sent to the class of 2020 and family members from MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch and principal Debra Henderson.

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From May 8 until May 19, each student will receive his or her cap and gown and cords upon their scheduled move out from campus. On the day and time set aside for the student, he or she and their immediate family (up to 5 people) will arrive at Lampton Auditorium, walk across the stage to receive their awards and diploma, have a photo and then exit to ring the bell in the middle of campus — an MSA tradition. The family and student will then leave campus and proper cleaning will take place before the next student arrives.

Each of the students will receive a video of their own ceremony along with each of the other graduates’ ceremonies, and all speeches. The video will also be broadcast May 22 at 2 p.m. — the original date of graduation.

Letters will be sent by mail and email Tuesday to let students know their appointment times and safety protocols.

Though this plan of individual graduation ceremonies would not work for the majority of schools, it seemed to be a good fit for the smaller size classes at the state arts high school.

“It is our hope that students will recognize our respect for the immense hard work it has taken to get to this point in your lives,” the letter said. “No matter where you go from here, we hope a little light will shine in you from our humble Brookhaven campus.”