Graduates to be showcased at AC's all-virtual fall commencement

by Joe Wyatt
Published November 24, 2020

For a long as she can remember, Sewar Ali has drawn inspiration from her Kurdish immigrant parents who encouraged their eldest to set lofty goals and then give earnest chase, advice she followed to a T at Amarillo College.


“I set two goals when I came to Amarillo College,” said Ali, a 2019 graduate of Amarillo High School whose first name is pronounced SAY-were. “I wanted to get my associate’s degree, and I wanted to have the chance to speak at graduation.”

Ali, a first-generation college student, indeed was selected to serve as student speaker when AC conducts its 101st commencement ceremony – the College’s second in succession to be delivered entirely virtually – due to the pandemic.

“I’m extremely honored and excited that I was chosen,” said Ali, who compiled a 3.9 grade point average, was a Presidential Scholar, and participated in Student Government and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society at AC.

Approximately 630 fall graduates are eligible to take part in AC’s virtual fall graduation, along with more than 300 summer graduates.

The one-hour ceremony will premiere at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 on both a live stream and on Panhandle PBS (KACV-TV).

Just like last spring’s virtual ceremony, this one will be re-broadcast on partnering local network affiliates in the days immediately following its original airing. Once it has been finalized, a complete schedule of viewing opportunities will be available at


All fall graduates who register to participate in the virtual ceremony will be provided in advance with complimentary caps and gowns. Each graduate is invited to submit photos of themselves modeling their regalia, which will appear on screen. 



Submit your request for a cap, gown, & tassel by Wednesday, November 25.

Learn more about how to order your regalia and submit your graduation photo/quote here







Although COVID-19 has forced recent ceremonies to be delivered in a non-traditional format, AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said the virtual graduation AC conducted last May touched him deeply.


“I think I loved it even more than our typical graduation because you got to see pictures of students with their families, their pets, their children,” Lowery-Hart said. “It was a true celebration of who our students are.

“I think our virtual graduation was the best representation of what the Culture of Caring is really about – it’s about our students, and our graduation really showcased them. I look forward to doing that once more.”

Ali, who plans to transfer her credits to Texas Tech University and pursue her dream of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon, said her commencement remarks will focus on themes such as the inspiration she received from her immigrant parents, and togetherness.

“I think the past year has shown us that we all need each other, that we need to have a sense of unity,” she said, “that too often people don’t want to listen to each other but that we’re all better off when we actually do - listen.

“I want to advocate that we shouldn’t let someone else’s hate make us hateful and that there is love in all of us.”