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FGCU will host virtual graduation

Posted at 8:40 PM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 22:24:55-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — A deserted campus isn't the kind of campus that doctorate student Esta Minaie thought she'd be saying goodbye to, when she got to FGCU almost a decade ago.

"I'm in my eighth year there and yeah I should be graduating there on May 3," said Minaie.

Coronavirus isn't just clearing campus, it's also taking away her chance to walk across the stage that day.

"It could be worse and they are doing something for us, so that's nice," said Minaie.

That something, is a virtual graduation on May 3, for the class of 2020.

"I'm proud of them. I'm proud that they've shown the resilience that they have," said FGCU President Dr. Michael Martin.

Caps have been mailed to all 1934 graduates.

And the university is encouraging them to send back videos wearing the gear and any special messages they want to share.

Those clips will be edited together with a pre-recorded commencement speech from President Martin.

The final piece will be made available to all 2020 graduates.

And while this year's commencement may be more circumstance than pomp, President Martin does wants to leave his students with a message: "it will get better."

"I got polio when I was five," said Martin, "I'm living proof that you live through it. You survive and in many respects you prosper. Maybe not because of it, but despite it."

President Martin adds that he's also hoping to invite the class of 2020 back at a later date, so they can have a traditional ceremony.