Treasure Valley Community College celebrates graduates with ‘CARmencement’ ceremony

TVCC drive thru graduation .jpg
Posted at 8:58 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 11:19:02-04

ONTARIO, Oregon — Several cars decked out with balloons and signs showed up to celebrate the Treasure Valley Community College's graduates of 2020 and 2021 Friday.

“I’m happy we were able to walk. Last year, it was canceled and didn’t happen at all. [I'm] just happy that it’s happening this year,” said Demi Vogel who received her associate's degree in psychology.

Campus officials said about 90 students participated.

“We worked hard to come up with a good way to involve people and family and still have the graduates walk, and I think they did a pretty good job having people participate but still getting the full experience,” said Sophie Draper, part of the graduating class of 2021.

The drive-thru ‘CARmencement Celebration” is a first for the college.

“We are still under a few COVID restrictions so instead of having our formal event, we have our students driving through the campus with their families. The graduate hops out and goes across the stage and gets back in their car and everyone cheers and celebrates. It’s a really great night to recognize their accomplishments,” said Abby Lee, Associate VP of College Relations.

Lee said typically their ceremony is held at John J. Early Gymnasium.

Omar Robles, a first-generation college student, said the unusual graduation ceremony was nothing new.

“Definitely my second car experience. The first one was at the high school, I graduated last year it was a similar thing. I wanted to participate in the ceremony,” Robles said.

Robles looks forward to continuing his education after experiencing a year like no other.

“It was different. It was little difficult learning online but just got to push through and do your best and study and find some people that can help you out,” he said.