Howard Community College has chosen Dec. 20 as the date for its 2020 commencement.
Two months ago, HCC released a plan with two possible graduation dates at the UMBC Event Center in Catonsville — Aug. 21 and Dec. 20. On Wednesday, the community college announced it was choosing the later date to honor its graduates amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The December date still gives the opportunity for HCC graduates who have moved on to transfer institutions to have a ceremony while on their winter break.
“We surveyed our students near the end of the spring semester to gauge interest in a virtual commencement ceremony,” said HCC spokesperson Elizabeth Homan. “The results were clear that graduating students wanted to celebrate their commencement in person, with safe and healthy practices. As a college, we want to provide our graduates with a ceremony that honors their achievement.”
The original graduation, which was set for May 22, was postponed by the college on March 20.
In April, Homan said it was important to have two possible dates with the uncertainty of the coronavirus.
“The reason for that is we don’t really know what the situation is going to be with holding public events, especially a large-scale event like a commencement,” Homan said in April. “That’s why we thought it was important to hold two dates and not just one date.”
The recognition ceremony for nursing and allied health students, which has been separate in the past, will also occur on the same date as the regular commencement this year.