South Bend's Class of 2020 to have in-person graduation ceremonies

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) The South Bend Community School Corporation will hold outdoor ceremonies for graduating high school seniors at Four Winds Field.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings made the announcement Thursday from the pitchers mound.

The ceremonies will be held July 24 and July 25.

" …and I am grateful for our friends here at Four Winds Field and the South Bend Cubs, and we think it’s going to be an exciting, terrific event in later July," Cummings said.

Cummings said he wanted to get students' input and had them fill out a survey.

“They overwhelmingly wanted an in-person ceremony," Cummings said.

"Yeah, I am feeling pretty good about this in-person commencement because nobody just wants to sit in front of their t.v. screen and watch like 200 slides of people just go by...just see your picture...for all the hard work I have done for the last 12 years," said Riley High School graduate, Bernado Malone.

"I knew that we were going to maybe have a mix of both online graduation and an in-person ceremony, but to actually hear that we are having a graduation later in July, it's going to be really fun," said Riley High School graduate Alex Almanza.

Adams will kick-off the celebration on Friday, July 24.

The line-up for Saturday, July 25 goes in the following order: Washington High School, Clay High School, Rise Up Academy and Riley High School.

Specific times can be found on the corporation's website.

The corporation is working with the St. Joseph County Health Department and will enforce strict health protocols.

For example, people will be required to wear masks and there will be limited seating.

If you have an underlying health condition, the corporation asks that you stay home.

The ceremonies will be live-streamed for your convenience.

From Superintendent C. Todd Cummings, Ph. D.:

Dear Class of 2020,

Thank you for your patience and input over the past few months as we considered how to honor your class while ensuring your health and safety. For seniors in particular, this has been an extraordinarily difficult time, and we are proud of each of you and the ways you have celebrated your achievements together while awaiting news for our updated graduation plans.

I am pleased to share that your class will be honored in person at a graduation ceremony later this summer. On Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at Four Winds Field (501 W. South St., South Bend) we will hold graduation ceremonies for each of South Bend's high schools. A backup date of Sunday, July 26 will be available in the event of inclement weather.

We have worked closely with Dr. Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer for St. Joseph County, to ensure that you and your guests can celebrate together while observing social distancing and following all necessary health protocols.

Once we confirm class sizes and know the number of seniors participating in the ceremony from each school, we will provide you with specific information on the exact date and time for your school's ceremony. At that time, we will also let you know how many guests each graduating senior may invite to attend.

Congratulations, Class of 2020. I look forward to congratulating each of you in person this July.

Sincerely,

C. Todd Cummings, Ph. D.
Superintendent of Schools