Cumberland graduation

Cumberland University President Dr. Paul Stumb congratulates the Class of 2020 at a ceremony last Saturday in which only the graduates attended because of coronavirus precautions. SUBMITTED

Cumberland University held its 178th commencement ceremony last Saturday for its largest-ever graduating class although access to the ceremony was restricted to the 615 graduates amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony took place at its traditional site on the Memorial Hall lawn with no guests, families and friends allowed to attend. The ceremony was streamed live online.

The ceremony also featured social distancing efforts with large spaces between chairs, hand sanitizing stations and the use of gloves for the handing out of diplomas.

“This year has been challenging for many, especially the class of 2020,” Cumberland President Dr. Paul Stumb said. “Although this was not the commencement ceremony that we hoped to give our graduates, it does not take away from the tremendous accomplishment of earning a college degree."

The university moved its classes to online only on March 16 to finish the spring 2020 semester due to the coronavirus.

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