Though details regarding cap and gown distribution, the program schedule and the exact social distancing guidelines remain unknown, one thing is certain: Lane seniors will graduate from Soldier Field on Thursday, June 17 at 3 p.m., according to an April 30 email from Principal Tennison.
After a meeting with Soldier Field staff next week, the administration will release a “senior bulletin” explaining more specific details, according to the email.
The ceremony, to which seniors can invite up to four guests, will come at no additional cost to students, according to Tennison. The school paid approximately $25,000 to reserve the venue.
“Having graduation at Soldier Field for our seniors means a small sense of normalcy in what has clearly been an abnormal year,” Assistant Principal Ms. Hanly said in a statement to The Champion.
“We know that so many seniors from 2020 did not get to have that moment, but we did our best to create something special for them, and we will do the same for this year’s class,” Hanly said. “The administration is especially happy that we get to experience a special moment with the seniors since we have not been with them most of the year.”
To Lane senior Nova Gomez, Div. 150, an in-person graduation represents a form of closure after an almost fully virtual year.
“I’m kind of glad that we aren’t doing a shift-based graduation, and it’s in such a big stadium where that’s safe, because it will give me the closure of being able to see people before I probably never ever talk to them again,” Gomez said.
Gomez added, “My mom is definitely really happy about it. She really wants to go there and see all my friends.”
The announcement of an in-person graduation came on the heels of Lane’s April 30 Decision Day celebration, which took place over Zoom. Usually, seniors, decked out in college gear, head to Lane Stadium to take photos and socialize with their classmates.
Students in the building reported to various locations in the building, including the lunchroom and the College and Career Center, at 1:15 p.m., and remote students joined the Zoom from home. The event featured students sharing their college and intended major.
To continue to announce their post-secondary decisions, seniors can also submit a profile to the Lane Tech Class of 2021 Instagram page, where about 100 seniors have already been featured. Posts include the senior’s future college and major, a fun fact and their activities in high school.
However, an in-person graduation is still on the horizon.
“We look forward to celebrating [seniors’] success and calling out the 1100 names! Let’s just hope for good weather!” Hanly said.