COVID canceled their 2020 graduation. On Sunday, they’ll finally cross the stage.

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COVID-19 canceled the Davidson College Class of 2020’s graduation ceremonies.

Davidson College Class of 2020 graduates gathered on the school football field their first year at Davidson for their class photo.
Davidson College Class of 2020 graduates gathered on the school football field their first year at Davidson for their class photo.

On Sunday, 75% of them will finally cross a stage with their diplomas, college officials said Friday.

Many colleges postponed graduation ceremonies or held them virtually that year.

Davidson College trustees preserved the commencement by personally donating $200,000 for the travel expenses of 2020 class members who couldn’t afford the airfare or gasoline, campus officials said.

The ceremony is expected to include 364 class members. Families and friends will join the celebration.

Some of the grads live nearby, while others traveled from across the country and world, according to the college.

Some could afford the trip, while others in graduate school, on fellowships or just starting their careers couldn’t, officials said.

“We’re really going to have this,” grad says

The trustees’ donations will pay the expenses of 121 graduates and cover the stays of class members in residence halls.

Class of 2020 member Mara Papakostas teaches in Taiwan through a grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. The trustees’ donations enabled her to travel to her alma mater for the commencement.

“It wouldn’t have been possible for me to attend without their generosity,” she said in a post on Davidson.edu about the ceremony.

The trustees also paid the airfare of her 2020 classmate and fellow Fulbright recipient Eldina Kucevic, who also teaches English in Taiwan.

“So many people said, ‘we’re never going to have that ceremony,’” Kucevic said in the Davidson.edu post. “But I believe in Davidson, and I knew they would never go back on their promise. Now we’re really going to have this. And I’m so incredibly grateful.”

The 2020 Davidson College commencement

The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 2022, in front of the Chambers Building on campus.

Davidson College will live-stream the commencement on Davidson.edu/livestream..

In case of bad or threatening weather, the ceremony will move to the John M. Belk Arena in Baker Sports Complex on campus. Any change in the ceremony location will be posted before 7 a.m. Sunday on Davidson College social channels and www.davidson.edu.

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