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Beal College to hold graduation at Bangor’s drive-in theater

Beal College will hold a socially distanced graduation ceremony at Bangor Drive-In on June 28, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic

Beal College will hold its 2020 graduation at the Bangor Drive In on June 28th.

Walking across the stage as a new college graduate is a big moment for students and their families. While the coronavirus disrupted Beal College’s planned graduation ceremony in May, the college will still take time to honor their graduates on Sunday, June 28th at 9pm at the Bangor Drive In, Hermon, ME.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the May commencement ceremony, conversations began on an alternative ceremony”, said Beal College President, Sheryl DeWalt. “We wanted to do something special for the 140 graduates this spring and we think that hosting the ceremony at the Bangor Drive In will allow us to honor our grads in a fun but safe environment.”

Prerecorded speeches, musical performances, and other items will roll by 9:15 pm on Sunday, June 28th.

As we slowly come out of the pandemic, the Bangor Drive In has been working with other schools and churches to provide a safe and affordable environment.

“The drive in has seen a surge due to the pandemic and we are very happy to be working with Beal so they can honor their graduates”, said Scott Warren, the Drive In’s manager. “Many people that have been attending our recent events have never even been to a drive in before and they’re seeing what a tremendous family night out the drive in theater can be”, he added.

Robin Tardiff, Beal College’s Student Services Coordinator said, “it’s being put together as a film. We started recording speeches several weeks ago, bringing people in one at a time. We’re hitting play just after 9pm, with sound piped into vehicles over an FM channel. It’ll be fun – like going to the movies.”

Social distancing guidelines will be enforced and masks for those who may have to get out and use restroom facilities. The Bangor Drive In staff will assist on the evening of the ceremony.

With organizers having gone over the previously planned commencement program line-by-line, Tardiff said the only difference will be students not being able to walk across the stage and be handed their diploma. “With the social distancing guidelines, walking across the stage is the part that we couldn’t recreate,” Tardiff commented. “However, we’ll have recognition on the screen for every 2020 Beal College graduate!”

“We are excited to honor our graduates in this unique way. The students have worked so hard and overcome so many barriers to get here. We had to find a way to recognize their amazing accomplishment. Canceling the ceremony was not an option”, said Tardiff.

The Beal College graduation will be held on Sunday evening at the Bangor Drive In, 1674 Hammond St., Hermon, ME.  Gates open at 7:30pm and the ceremony will begin at dark, approximately 9:00pm.