ATLANTA - They may not walk across a stage to get their college degree this spring, but a local organization wants to make sure this time is extra special for some Atlanta graduates.
With commencement ceremonies on hold nationwide this spring, Atlanta University Center Institutions made the difficult decision to postpone or cancel ceremonies that would traditionally be held this spring, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Deja' Trammell is a recent graduate of the Master of Social Work program at Clark Atlanta.
"I saw virtual commencement celebration I thought oh wow that's so cool," Trammell said.
This month she'll join hundreds of graduates in a special AUC Cyber Commencement Celebration. Trammell told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes.
"Someone to recognize our achievements, especially how hard I worked. We worked so hard, maintained 3.9 GPAs, and we are ready and excited," Trammell said.
A flyer for the AUC Cyber Commencement Celebration. (AUC)
Gina Surgeon, Executive Director of the organization Positive FACE is spearheading the effort to recognize up to 300 students.
"We are really looking forward to a great time. It's going to be live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook. We will have a celebration guide so they can send invitations to their family members all across the nation to log on and celebrate with them," Surgeon said.
Any 2020 spring graduate from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morris Brown, Spelman, and the Interdenominational Theological Center is invited to register.
"We want this to be a motivation to them professionally and in terms of community activism for the rest of their lives," said Surgeon.
The event is not an official event of any of the AUC institutions.
In a statement to FOX 5 Atlanta, AUC officials said, "Each Atlanta University Center institution recognizes the importance of celebrating the hard work, diligence, and display of excellence associated with earning a degree from one of our college and universities. Each institution takes commencement seriously as an academic exercise during which the rights and privileges associated with officially completing a rigorous, accredited course of stuty are recognized. Each institution plans to honor its graduates in a unique and special way this summer or fall, but no AUC institution is a sponsor or or affiliated with "Cyber Celebration Honoing 2020 Graduates."
Surgeon said organizers want to bridge the gap for students who needed an emotional boost and for graduates like Trammell, who is returning home to Alabama to pursue a doctorate degree and may not be able to return to Atlanta for a traditional commencement.
"I may not be afforded the opportunity to come back for a commencement ceremony, so the fact that I have this, it's a virtual space, I have memorabilia, I'm really excited and really appreciative."
Each student will be featured with their photograph, school, honors, and degree.
To register visit: bit.ly/ROOTED_2020. The registration deadline has been extended to May 7.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.