Purdue Fort Wayne School of Education sending graduates off in a unique way

With the need for social distancing, the School of Education at Purdue Fort Wayne decided to do something different to celebrate their 2020 graduates.

Posted: May 13, 2020 8:14 PM
Updated: May 14, 2020 10:05 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - This time of year, college graduates file in by the hundreds, pick up their degrees to the tune of pomp and circumstance, but 2020 is no ordinary year.

With the need for social distancing, the School of Education at Purdue Fort Wayne decided to do something different to celebrate their graduates.

The Assistant Clinical Professor for Education Psychology Sharon Parninsaid, "Thinking about sitting at home, in front of my computer today was, for all of us, really hard. So, as we started to brainstorm, we thought hey we could toss something, how about t-shirts?"

A simple t-shirt. Students pull up, professor throw a shirt in the car, say congratulations and the student drives off. 

The t-shirt was a nice momento, but today was more than that. It was selfies, laughs, sign-waving, and supporting one another.

Making the best out of a bad situation says School of Education Director Isabel Nunez.

"We're really glad to be able to celebrate them here," Nunez said. "We wish we could be at the Coliseum with crowds of family cheering, giving hugs, seeing what kind of decoration they put on their mortarboards."

For Haley Bubser, she was looking forward to wearing her cap and gown as she received her Master's Degree, but was happy she could see those who helped her along the way one last time.

"It’s pretty great that they put this together so that we can at least celebrate in some little way and have a little something," Bubser said.

While some other schools will have commencement later on in the year, these teachers felt it just didn’t feel right to wait.

Parnin said "You can’t recapture this in the fall or next year. This has to be done now as this time in their lives, that transition time moving into their careers. We wanted to just be able to be a part of it."

The School of Education at Purdue Fort Wayne graduates many of the teachers here in Northeast Indiana, according to Nunez.

So, these graduates may be coming to your child’s classroom soon.

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