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story.lead_photo.caption In this file photo, Jonathan Harbour prepares to graduate with the highest honors during the South Arkansas Community College Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremony at the El Dorado Conference Center. The Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony will be held virtually today at 7 p.m. on the SouthArk Facebook page and YouTube channel. Students will also have the opportunity to walk at the Fall 2020 Commencement.

South Arkansas Community College will present a virtual commencement ceremony today at 7 p.m. on their Facebook page, YouTube channel and website.

“We really struggled with commencement, but we couldn’t find a way to do it we were comfortable with,” Dr. Bentley Wallace, SouthArk President said Wednesday during a meeting of the college’s Board of Trustees.

Since March, SouthArk students have been working to complete their spring semesters through distance learning. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced on April 25 that no traditional graduation ceremonies would be allowed in the state any earlier than July 1.

“We hate that we’re not all going to be together on the best day of the year at the college,” Wallace said Wednesday. “[The virtual commencement] is going to be really good and we hope to never have to do it again.”

The virtual commencement will go live tonight at 7 p.m. Every spring 2020 graduate will be recognized and El Dorado Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer will deliver the commencement address. A virtual watchparty will be held on Facebook; those who plan to attend may RSVP on the college’s page.

“There are a lot of cool features,” Wallace said. “Dr. (Michael) Murders (Vice President for Academic Affairs) and his team are working with campus departments.”

In addition to the virtual ceremony, the college has created a digital yearbook for students and their families and members of the community to view, which is also scheduled to go live on SouthArk’s website tonight at 7 p.m. Each graduate will be recognized there as well.

Wallace said those spring graduates who would like to walk will be welcome to do so at the fall commencement ceremony, which will be scheduled at a later date.

“This is certainly going to be one to remember for that class,” Steve Cousins, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said.

Those that wish to attend the virtual commencement ceremony may do so by visiting facebook.com/southark, the South Arkansas Community College YouTube channel or southark.edu.

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