Black Hills State prepares for in-person graduation

Local News

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KELO) — It’s an event that many students look forward to from day one, walking across the stage to get their diploma. The COVID-19 pandemic derailed the tradition for many students last year, but ceremonies from high school to college will be a little more like normal this year.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, BHSU is getting ready for an in person graduation.

“COVID has been absolutely wild, it really through our senior year for a loop, I think for a lot of people but professors have been great, the school has been great so I’ve still been able to graduate without it being too stressful compared to how it could’ve gone,” Kaylee Kalmbach, senior, said.

Kaylee Kalmbach is a senior English major. She’ll be graduating at noon on Saturday. It’s one of three ceremonies.

“We break it down by college so we will start at 9 o’clock in the morning with Business and Natural Sciences. Then, we’ll go to noon and that’s Liberal Arts and then at 3 o’clock in the afternoon is Educational and Behavioral Sciences,” Laurie Nichols, President of BHSU, said.

“So I will have my parents, my fiance, my brother at the ceremony with me,” Kalmbach said.

In addition to a 4-guest limit, all attendees must also wear masks

The president of Black Hills State, Laurie Nichols, says so far the feedback has been positive.

“It’s great to be able to feel like we’re returning a little more to a sense of being more normal and that includes this sense of celebration and closure,” Nichols said.

The ceremony will be held here at the Young Center with about 325 graduates.

Altogether, BHSU will be graduating 400 students this year, which includes people not attending the graduation ceremony and summer graduates.

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