GLEN DANIEL, WV (WOAY) – While most of the graduating class of 2020 lost their chance at a ceremony, seniors from Liberty High School were able to hold a traditional graduation on a golf course.
Rhonda Calloway, owner of the Hidden Valley Golf Course, offered up her land to be used for the ceremony a few weeks ago She says the idea is that with all the land she owns, they could have a ceremony in a safe manner.
“And I kept on seeing all the heartache and these kids being sad and parents being upset. I was thinking I have land, I have plenty of land, we could do this,” Calloway said.
The school didn’t have anything to do with organizing the ceremony. It was Calloway and her friends and family that put everything together.
Originally she believed only a few families would show up, but quickly nearly the entire graduating class of Liberty High ended up becoming interested and attending.
“And I thought that maybe 15, 20 parents would be interested and before I knew, it just took off. Everybody was thrilled, appreciative.”
With nearly a hundred different families and students showing up to the ceremony, there were some concerns about the size of the gathering. However, Calloway insists that the event was safe, and was essentially the same as the crowds she’s seen in large retail stores that remain open.
“It’s outdoors. I don’t see how this could be any different than Wal-Mart or Lowes. I know there are lots of people in Wal-mart and I know they’re watching it, but this is 200 acres.”
The ceremony itself was about as close as a traditional high school graduation could get, just with a change of venue. It featured speeches from the valedictorian and salutatorian, and students walked up with coordination when their names were called.
The ceremony lasted a little less than an hour and the golf course’s fairway saw hundreds of people come out to see the students graduate.
Other schools are holding different types of graduations with virtual or drive-thru ceremonies.