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Ten ideas to celebrate the Class of 2020 during COVID-19


A graphic says, "Congratulations Class of 2020." The rounds of the zeroes are toilet paper rolls.
It's important to celebrate new grads this spring while continuing to flatten the curve.

Whether students are finishing high school, college, university, or a professional program, this time of year is usually filled with events and ceremonies to celebrate these significant milestones. This year, our celebrations will look different as we continue to practice physical distancing. While we may want to gather together, it’s important to remember why we’re distancing – to protect people like our grandparents and elders, and to support our essential workers by flattening the curve.

Physical distancing doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! It’s important to celebrate accomplishments, and we want to acknowledge the hard work students have put in over the years. So how can we celebrate new grads this spring while continuing to flatten the curve?

10 ideas to celebrate our local graduates:

  • Create a virtual “congratulations” board. Using a platform like Facebook, you can create a page or event where people can share messages, photos, and GIFs with the new grad.
  • Send video messages. For the tech savvy, you could piece together videos from friends and family into one big montage to celebrate your graduate.
  • Consider a gift. E-transfers, local business gift cards, and non-monetary items like poems, quotes, or guidance that helped family members at that stage of their lives are all options. If something ceremonial or a family heirloom is offered for this rite of passage in your family or culture (e.g., an eagle feather, special photo), consider contactless drop-off or tracked shipping.
  • Organize a car parade. Car parades aren’t just for birthdays. These can be a great way to show your support to those who are graduating this year.
  • Display a sign. You could create a sign to put in your front yard or window to acknowledge your graduate. Consider inviting neighbours or friends to add a special message on it. Or get inspired with what parents are planning for Caledonia Senior Secondary graduates in Terrace.
  • Create personalized yearbook notes or stickers. Signing yearbooks can be a special way to share memories of meaningful times, inside jokes, or well wishes. Create notes or stickers that graduates can stick into their yearbook and to look back on in the future.
  • Celebrate prom “coronavirus style.” It might be the next best thing to an in-person party!
  • Take part in a virtual ceremony. These events provide students with the opportunity to walk across a “virtual stage” to receive their diplomas. UNBC will be hosting a virtual ceremony where every graduate is acknowledged and the graduating class can share a personalized message, photo, or video. You can organize an event like this yourself with a video messaging platform like Zoom, where you can celebrate and have your graduate “walk the stage.”
  • Organize a drive-in ceremony. Some schools are making plans to safely host graduation ceremonies by having a drive-in ceremony. From the safely of their vehicles, attendees can enjoy a slide show on a big screen, together with pre-recorded messages from the school administration and the class valedictorian. Note: per BCCDC orders, outdoor drive-in events are limited to no more than 50 vehicles.
  • Encourage self-reflection. Graduating is something to be proud of. Support your graduate to take a moment and do something rewarding for themselves to acknowledge the significance of this milestone.


To all the students graduating this year - we are celebrating with you and cheering you on! Congratulations to the class of 2020!