Stadium Lights to Shine for Class of 2020

The Tompkins Cortland Community College athletics department will pay tribute to the Class of 2020 on the night the College was to have celebrated commencement. For the first time since the College moved to remote learning and the spring sports seasons were cancelled two months ago, the lights on Panthers Stadium will be turned on Thursday, May 21.

Turning the stadium lights on at the end of the commencement ceremony is a tradition for the College. This year the lights will go on at 8:20 p.m., or 20:20 in 24-hour clock format, in honor of the class of 2020. The lights will burn brightly while the sun sets and the sky changes to night, providing shining proof that even though the commencement ceremony was postponed, the graduates are still in the thoughts of everyone at the College.

“Commencement is one of the best days of the year here, and at any college or educational institution,” said Mick McDaniel, director of athletics and the person behind the idea of turning on the lights. “We’re all disappointed by the way our semester ended, but we want to use this little gesture as a way of letting our College community know we haven’t forgotten what this day was supposed to be. This graduating class had to overcome challenges unlike any before, and we couldn’t be more proud.”

The College is planning a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. The date for that ceremony has not yet been determined.