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Baptist College of Florida family unites from a distance - Dothan Eagle

Staff, faculty and students at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, like other educational institutions, have found strategies in trying to make this academic year one to remember for good reasons despite the many disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Togetherness looks different this semester: Members of the current BCF graduating class, for instance, won’t get to march down the aisle together and collect their diplomas as a group on schedule but they will have a virtual ceremony on time. They’re also being offered the opportunity to march in a delayed traditional ceremony this December.

“BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen has been adamant about making an exceptional graduation event virtually to honor the accomplishments of the 2020 BCF spring graduates,” BCF officials said in a press release. “Even though graduates will be given the opportunity to walk in December, they will be recognized, honored, and celebrated on their official graduation day, May 15 at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live.”

An administrative building has been temporarily transformed to give the graduates a visual highlight opportunity based on their special day.

“The furniture in the entranceway to one of the administrative buildings, Graceville Hall, was cleared to set up a photobooth to make sure each graduate was able to take a professional picture in their cap and gown,” school officials said. “Additional time was given to the graduates for them to go in their regalia to special places on campus and take photos with family members. This extra effort provided an opportunity for graduates to have a photographic remembrance during the most unusual of circumstances of the place they have called home.”

The academic year has been punctuated by special efforts of students , as well, in finding creative ways to stay together in mission even while apart.

“Virtual musical projects have been performed, general recitals and classes have met through Zoom, and the BCF Collegiate Disaster Relief Team deployed with mask and heavy equipment when a recent storm plowed through our community,” school officials explained.

“Looking through the academic and event calendar for The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, the next two weeks should be filled with upcoming events that bring the semester to a resounding close. Students finishing up major projects and assignments, and all the end of the semester activities including Midnight Breakfast, Senior Honors Day, Night of Worship, Student Preaching, and Graduation are highlighted on the schedule. Not this year,” the release continued. “This year, essential personnel not working from home are wearing mask, practicing social distancing, and saying goodbyes from a distance. Students held Bible studies and Coffee Hours ... through Zoom as all of the on-campus classes were moved to online. And yet, BCF is determined to make sure students remain connected and the 2020 graduating class have an event and a launch to remember. For those BCF students not yet graduating, faculty and staff have encouraged, cheered them on from the sidelines, and made sure they didn’t need WiFi help or financial assistance. Students miss their classmates, miss their dorm room, chapel, faculty, and staff members,” officials say, but the ties that bind them remain. “BCF is more than an institution of Christian higher education, it’s a family,” the release stated.

For more information about BCF, call 800-328-2660, ext. 461, or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.


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