by Stefanie Carruth Published April 16, 2020 Amarillo College will roll out a Commencement ceremony in May every bit as judicious as it is auspicious. The event, in the fullest observance of social distancing, will be the first-ever entirely virtual graduation ceremony for the College, and it will also mark the 100th Commencement in AC history. The milestone ceremony will be aired live online beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, and all graduates who chose to participate will be provided with graduation regalia – caps and gowns – completely free of charge. Spring graduates and students who anticipate completing degrees or certificates this summer are eligible for Spring Commencement. Additionally, all participants will be invited to take part in AC’s next in-person commencement ceremony. “Despite these uncertain times and our inability to assemble physically as a College community, there is just no way we’re going to miss the opportunity to celebrate our students’ amazing achievements,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said. “Because this year unfolded far differently than anyone planned, with so many disruptions to so many of our students’ lives, we are shipping caps and gowns – totally free – to each graduate who chooses to take part in the virtual ceremony.” Students who do choose to participate in the virtual ceremony are asked to fill out this form by Thursday, April 30. Regalia will arrive in return mail. Once it arrives, graduates will be asked to submit photos of themselves (alone or with family) while wearing their caps and gowns, along with brief commentary that will appear with the photo during the virtual event. “This will be a very personal celebration of our students, featuring their words and their images,” Lowery-Hart said. “I’m so proud of our graduates and I encourage each and every one of them, their families, and our entire community to join us for this unprecedented virtual celebration.” Presently, approximately 900 students are slated to graduate from AC this spring or summer.