Hancock College graduates who are transferring to four-year universities were honored Friday evening with a socially distanced drive-through ceremony on the Santa Maria campus.
Dubbed “Transfer Stars” by the college, hundreds of graduates and their families entered from Sierra Madre Avenue and wound their way to the Marian Theatre, where each received a medallion to wear with caps and gowns and a certificate commemorating their achievement.
Staff of Hancock’s University Transfer Center and other Hancock administrators, faculty members and staff clapped and cheered as the graduates rolled through to receive their honors between 4 and 6 p.m.
Graduates also received a $20 gift certificate to a local restaurant, and the University Transfer Center prepared a special virtual celebration video, featuring photos and messages from many of the graduates’ peers.
“It’s important to recognize these students for the all the hard work they put into completing their education at Hancock and transferring to a four-year university,” said Hancock President/Superintendent Kevin G. Walthers.
“This has been a challenging year for our Bulldog students, and the [University Transfer Center] did an amazing job finding a way to safely celebrate their achievements,” he said.
Hancock transfers about 300 to 500 students to universities each year.
This year, the college once again maintained the highest acceptance rate to Cal Poly, with a total of 68% of Hancock applicants gaining acceptance.
Like other schools and colleges, Hancock has come up with creative ways to honor members of the Class of 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing.
But earlier this month, college officials announced Hancock’s commencement ceremony will be postponed until August while they explore ways to celebrate safely in person.
Hancock officials said they encourage graduates to post their own celebratory photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #AHCGrad2020.
Virtual classes will be offered for the summer session, which starts June 15, but college officials said they are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates on the fall session, which starts Aug. 17, as information becomes available.
To register for summer and fall sessions, visit www.hancockcollege.edu/summerfall/.
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