Although COVID-19 has changed many traditions and ways of life, it hasn’t hampered people’s ingenuity. There are plenty of safe ways to celebrate your Western Oregon University graduation on June 13.
Keep in mind the current state of Oregon guidelines limits no more than 25 people at a gathering. Attendees must stay at least 6 feet apart, and they all must be local to the area. Traveling to a gathering is still not allowed.
Graduates might want to opt for several small celebrations until a large gathering can be held. For example, students can have brunch with family members to watch WOU’s Commencement, invite a few close friends over for a meal and host a drive-by party.
Remember the celebration should be something you feel comfortable doing. Your friends and family will support your decision. They just want a way to congratulate you on achieving this milestone.
Most importantly, stay safe and take the necessary precautions to ensure your guests’ health. Check for coronavirus updates in your state because restrictions could change.
Here are a few ideas to plan your celebration:
Graduation announcements: Send a card by mail or electronically to your family members and friends. Be sure to include photos of you in your cap and gown, your degree and major and what’s next for you. If you are looking for a job, let people know. Most jobs are found through recommendations.
Extra, extra … Read all about WOU graduates: Visit WOU Commencement to share your graduation story or encourage a family member to send in news about you.
Food makes the celebration: Plan a menu with all your favorite foods and beverages. Look for fresh produce such as Oregon strawberries at local farm stands or farmers markets. If you are worried about food safety, create treat bags with your favorite desserts or candy to give to guests.
Commencement brunch: Watch WOU’s Commencement while enjoying brunch with family.
Graduation office hours: Invite your guests to arrive at designated times. For example, invite 25 guests to attend your party from 1 to 2 p.m., and so on. The advantage of an extended party is you will have the opportunity to visit more with your guests than if you had a large crowd.
Pomp and circumstance parade: Decorate your front yard or driveway with red and white balloons and streamers and invite friends and family to drive by to congratulate you. You could set up a table for people to place gifts and take treats.
Create your 2020 graduation Facebook event: Ask friends and family to share advice, photographs, favorite memories and more on a dedicated Facebook event for graduation or other social media site.
Online graduation party: Send a note to friends to plan a time and day for an online party. Have a contest to see who has the most Western Oregon University background or memorabilia, who is wearing WOU gear, who can tell the funniest story about a class and other activities. We also have Commencement-themed Zoom backgrounds available for your digital celebrations (among other graphics).
Collect memories: Take photographs in your cap and gown with family. Create a timeline of photographs of you in kindergarten to college graduation. If you live near WOU, plan a trip to take photos while meeting a few friends for social distancing photos.
Every celebration needs music: Team up with a few friends to create a TikTok video or a playlist of your favorite songs during your university years.
Game night: Plan a game night by inviting friends to play video games, Scrabble or other online games.
After the party, make sure to send thank you notes to your guests.