Howard University Celebrates Nursing Graduates Following Unexpected Cancellation Last Week

2024 Howard University Graduates. Courtesy of Howard University Instagram.

On Saturday, the class of 2024 at Howard University celebrated their graduation ceremony at Capital One Arena. The College of Nursing and Allied Health Services at the same university received special recognition.

The graduation ceremony for the nursing school was rescheduled after a chaotic incident that took place on Thursday at Howard University in D.C.

“We apologize for the events you endured this week, but we stand here to salute you,” said Howard’s president, Dr. Ben Vinson III during Saturday’s commencement.

It was a three-hour ceremony for the largest graduating class in school history.

“After Thursday, I did not think I was going to walk, and it was a terrible experience,” said Justice Hodges, a graduate of the college of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences.

Earlier in the week, he was set to walk across the stage and receive his diploma at a ceremony on campus, like most of his fellow graduates.

“Three minutes into it there was a fight already on the other side, the inside. It was total chaos in there,” said Mylove Tetterton, Hodges’ mother who came in from New Jersey.

She said she saw people banging and kicking on the doors of the auditorium to get in and graduates walking off the stage when they noticed their family members didn’t make it inside. A large crowd drew to watch the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences students graduate, but the crowd grew upset and chanted “let us in” when they were denied entrance to the building.

“I think they said the fire department shut it down, because they know they were probably going to tear that place up,” said Tetterton. She thought she might never see her son receive any diploma.

“Because of the size of the room and because our relatives sometimes do not know how to act, the fire department is now here to shut us down,” Dean Gina S. Brown said.

However, a D.C. Fire & EMS spokesperson said on Friday that they did not shut the event down. They said they instead came to the scene because of a medical call. A witness told WJLA someone had broken glass at Cramton Auditorium during the incident.

“At 6:42 p.m. we responded to the Cramton Auditorium for a medical call at the request of campus police. The patient was evaluated and refused transport and D.C. Fire and EMS departed,” wrote Noah Gray, the Chief Communications Officer for D.C. Fire and EMS.

The ceremony for the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences was scheduled to take place at Cramton Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, according to the Howard University website.

“I told you Thursday night that you were unstoppable, did I not?” said Dean Gina Spivey Brown at Saturday’s ceremony. “We prepared so many students of excellence, you all, that there was an overwhelming support of family, friends and loved ones. They wanted to get in so bad that they were breaking down the doors, because that’s what we do at Howard.”

After Thursday’s ceremony was abruptly canceled, Brown came up with a plan B, allowing all 280 graduates of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences to take the big stage.

“She said okay, after commencement, we’re going to give you your degrees and all of your awards and we’re going to let you guys walk,” said Hodges. “I feel very happy, I feel like our voices were heard and we were accommodated well. I thank Howard for that.”

Tetterton is thankful she could stick around. “We stayed a little bit longer, but they showed them that extra support and sympathy for the other day, so I was happy about it,” she said.

via Howard University Instagram.

Some parents questioned why the school didn’t issue tickets or use a larger venue such as the Burr Gymnasium.

Howard University chief communications officer Lydia Sermons said “running out of space for graduations of individual colleges had not been an issue in past years”. She said this year’s graduating class is “the largest in Howard University history,” combined with many students not having a normal high school graduation in 2020 due to the pandemic has drawn huge crowds for graduations this year.

She pledged that the school would plan in the future to try to prevent a repeat of what has happened at some graduations this year.

Howard University reportedly graduated 2,839 students in 2024, ranging from 18 to 83 years old.

Source link : hbcubuzz.com

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