After learning that an in-person commencement ceremony would not be possible, the South Central College (SCC) commencement committee and college leaders decided they wanted to create a virtual experience for students that was as close to a traditional ceremony as possible. That meant moving the event to a later date, so the college could extend the deadline for graduates to order their free caps and gowns and provide them with an opportunity to submit their photo to be featured in the virtual ceremony.

“Our students deserve to be celebrated,” said SCC President Dr. Annette Parker. “We wanted to take a little extra time to create a virtual experience that would include a majority of the elements of a traditional commencement ceremony.”

On Thursday, June 25 at 5 p.m., graduates will get just that – a Virtual Commencement Ceremony that mirrors the real thing from beginning to end. Parker and other college leaders will speak, Minnesota State system Chancellor Devinder Malhotra and Board of Trustees Chair Jay Cowles will offer their congratulations and student speaker Jessica Alsleben will address her fellow graduates.

The address for this year’s unique commencement ceremony will be given by Karen Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc., the nation’s largest movement to improve success for all students in general, and especially low-income and students of color. South Central College has been one of the 220 colleges selected to be a part of the Achieving the Dream network since 2016 and in that time has developed many innovative initiatives to drive student success and narrow the achievement gap.

All are invited to tune into the Virtual Commencement Ceremony at “We hope to make this a truly memorable event for our students, their family and friends,” said Parker.