Art by Russell Chesnut
The GHC graduation commencement ceremonies will be returning to the Floyd campus this spring. To ensure safety through social distancing, there will be three different commencements held outside on the campus grounds on Thursday, May 13.
The commencement ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The nursing pinning and commencement will be at 3 p.m. the same day.
The venue area where the commencement will take place is the open area in front of the Walraven and Physical Education buildings.
Seating is limited, and a GHC student ID and guest pass will be needed upon entry. Students have been asked to sign up for one commencement ceremony as a part of their application for graduation.
“This year’s commencement, very much like last year’s, is very unique. One of the struggles we have faced is GHC’s historical pattern to encourage guests and visitors. This year, we are very limited with space to comply with safety precautions,” said Tammy Nicholson, assistant executive to the president of GHC.
All who attend are asked to wear a required face-covering upon entering, exiting, and navigating the venue area.
For those who cannot attend the in-person event, a Livestream of the ceremonies will be available at commencement. highlands. edu and on GHC’s social media pages.
“Speakers for GHC’s 2021 Commencement ceremonies will include Professor Billy Morris, faculty recipient of [the] Walraven Award, and Regent T. Dallas Smith, bringing [a] welcome from University System of Georgia Board of Regents,” said Nicholson.
Billy Morris, geology professor, has been selected to lead the processional as mace bearer in all three ceremonies.
According to a recent email sent to the GHC faculty, “The mace, a great and splendid staff, is actually a club; it is a symbolic weapon. Medieval universities would not defend themselves with the sword. It was not considered appropriate for gentle scholars to draw blood, but they could defend, using a cudgel – and they did.”
The same email to the faculty also states, “The mace has come to stand as a symbol for two critical matters. First, it stands for the freedom of the academy to see the truth and to teach it. It also stands for the authority of the academy.
This authority is best described by two traditional Latin terms: magisterium and auctoritas. Under the first term, the magisterium is included control of equipment, building, and grounds, as well as the behavior of members and visitors – ensuring order and liberty. Under the second term, auctoritas, is included a defense of the liberty to do research, to study, to publish, and to learn. The mace makes the statement that the academy must protect and foster those things.”
For answers to specific questions about commencement ceremonies, tickets, and more, please contact the Office of the Registrar at [email protected] edu or call (706) 802-5000. More information may also be found here.