– As COVID-19 metrics continue to improve in the Metro East region, Lewis and Clark Community College is planning to hold its 50th Annual Commencement ceremony outdoors next month.

L&C will celebrate in person with 122 participating graduates at Alton’s Public School Stadium at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, weather dependent. A rain date is tentatively scheduled for May 20.

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“We are ecstatic to be able to celebrate with our graduates in person this year, and are grateful to the Alton School District for making it possible through the use of their stadium,” said L&C President Ken Trzaska. “Our graduates have worked so hard to get to this point, especially amid a global pandemic, and we wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”

Apart from being held outside, graduates and guests will see some other changes from previous ceremonies.

“Last year’s spring Commencement was postponed and eventually held in a virtual format,” said Registrar Heidi Plunkett. “We’ve had to make some slight adjustments to ensure everyone’s safety, but we’re very much looking forward to being together again this year.”

In lieu of a guest speaker, Trzaska will deliver a short Commencement address. There will be no invocation or benediction, in order to streamline the ceremony.

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Students will be able to cross a stage to receive their diplomas as usual, but there will be no graduate procession in or out of the stadium. Faculty, while invited to the ceremony, will also not be seated on stage as usual.

Each graduate will be allowed two guest tickets, which will need to be presented at the gate. Others can view the ceremony streamed live online at

Assisted seating and handicap parking will be available upon request.

Masks will be required of all participants and guests, and social distancing will also be observed.

The Class of 2021 totals 873 graduates over the Summer 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters.

The college’s virtual Commencement 2020 premiered live on YouTube last December and can still be viewed at lewisandclarkcc.

Two graduates from the Class of 2019 stand outside the Hatheway Cultural Center after L&C’s 48th Annual Commencement two years ago.

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