SOUTH CHINA — Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Erskine Academy Class of 2020 graduation comprises 12 separate ceremonies, divided up by advisee group.

There were six groups Friday and there will be another six Saturday. Graduates were limited to just three tickets for guests to sit in chairs spaced far apart in the school gym.

Each graduate was called up individually and walked across the stage as their plans for next year and awards won were read out. Family members then presented them with a diploma back on the floor.

Headmaster Michael McQuarrie said they held 12 ceremonies with limited attendance to keep the crowd size low. They usually graduate all at once at the Augusta Civic Center.

The first ceremony Friday afternoon lasted about 20 minutes and custodians sanitized the chairs and other high-touch areas before the next one started. The complete program will be edited for viewing and will include all pre-recorded graduation speeches made by students and the administration. Each individual ceremony will also be broadcast on Facebook Live.

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