The University of Toledo College of Nursing will host a drive-through convocation this weekend to recognize its summer graduates.
The socially distanced event will honor two important rites of passage for nursing students — a pinning ceremony for undergraduates and a hooding ceremony for doctoral students.
“These are really important moments for our students and their families. We want to give them that moment of recognition,” said Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing. “We’re trying to do the best we can to ensure our students have a way to celebrate their academic success and entry into the nursing profession, even in the midst of this pandemic.”
The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, outside the Collier Building on UToledo’s Health Science Campus in Parking Lot 44. Doctoral students will be recognized first, followed by undergraduate students. The ceremony will continue throughout the day, with graduates participating one at a time in order to comply with current state guidelines that limit large gatherings.
The College of Nursing considered several convocation options and polled students about their preferences before deciding on the drive-through convocation.
Mohammad Abouahmed, a bachelor of science in nursing student, said he was appreciative for an opportunity to celebrate the occasion with his family and friends.
“It’s a special time. There are 90 some people in our cohort, and we’ve been around each other on a nearly daily basis for the past four semesters,” Abouahmed said. “I view the pinning almost as our version of a graduation versus walking across the stage. It’s definitely more sentimental. It’s more specific and more meaningful in a sense.”
Pinning and hooding are both time-honored academic traditions.
Each college of nursing has its own specific pin that is a symbol of a student’s graduation from that particular school — a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. Students set to earn their bachelor of science in nursing degree can elect the person of their choice to place the pin on their lapel as a symbol of their entry into the nursing profession.
Similarly, students who are completing a doctor of nursing practice degree will be recognized with a traditional academic hooding ceremony in which their name is announced and a doctoral hood is draped over their shoulders to signify their professional stature.
Graduates and their families, all of whom will be required to wear masks, will drive to the main tent staging area where they can then exit their vehicles. Graduates will come to the stage, while family members will have a designated area for taking photographs.