PITTSBURGH TECHNICAL COLLEGE DISPLAYS VIRTUAL EXCELLENCE WITH SPECIAL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
Commencement Will Include YouTube Video and Online Interaction
PITTSBURGH—July 7, 2020 – The graduates of Pittsburgh Technical College’s (PTC) 2020 classes, which includes those completing during the January, April, and July quarters, will toss their caps into cyberspace tomorrow during the college’s first ever virtual commencement ceremony. Respecting social distancing and current Allegheny County guidelines restricting groups larger than 25, the President, Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff could not allow this momentous occasion to pass unacknowledged and have developed a unique and heartfelt virtual ceremony recognizing each of the 436 graduates individually.
“The challenges presented by COVID-19 resulted in a delay in holding our April ceremony which would have incorporated all of the January and April graduates. We are excited to congratulate and acknowledge them along with our July grads in a special ceremony,” said Dr. Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, PTC President. “While all of us at PTC would love to applaud each student as they cross the stage in our traditional ceremony, we are delighted to put our PTC Magic on full display virtually as we come together to celebrate Pittsburgh Technical College graduates in this very special virtual tribute.”
The virtual commencement ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Anyone interested in viewing can do so at PTC’s YouTube channel. Lasting approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, the ceremony includes an opening and conferring of degrees by the College President, special presentation of award winners, and a presentation of candidates with a personalized slide for each graduate.
Awards for graduates include the Richard S. Caliguiri Award, named for the 1948 PTC graduate and former Pittsburgh Mayor, recognizing students who demonstrate academic excellence, perseverance, professionalism, and leadership as chosen by PTC’s faculty. The J.R. McCartan Outstanding Student Award is named for PTC’s former president and recognizes a student from each program who embodies the mission and goals of the college and who has made a significant contribution during his or her time as a student. Lastly, a Community Service Award is given to students who have participated in a minimum of 100 hours of community service within a 12-month period of enrollment.
“While 2020 has been an unprecedented year for the nation and world, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate our graduates and the strength and fortitude they have displayed in reaching this point in their education,” said Christine Ioli, Alumni Coordinator for PTC. “It is also a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the family and friends who supported each graduate in the achievement of this milestone. We are all so proud of our grads and excited to watch them continue to contribute to the community in their chosen fields.”
A virtually excellent commencement ceremony aligns with the numerous innovative efforts PTC created to provide a smooth transition for students in the virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty and staff have personally delivered lab devices, shipped and troubleshot Wi-Fi equipment, and established virtual study groups, a Virtual Student Union, and online student activities to maintain social interaction, to name a few of the adaptations supporting the online modality. Recently, PTC’s School of Design and Engineering hosted a virtual portfolio show as well as a drive-in movie-type event to showcase the work of Multimedia – Video Production students.