Graduates take part in a drive-by parade  May 20 on the campus of Georgian Court University, Lakewood.  GCU photo
Graduates take part in a drive-by parade May 20 on the campus of Georgian Court University, Lakewood. GCU photo
Georgian Court University, Lakewood, hosted a drive-by congratulations parade May 20 for its Class of 2020 graduates.

More than 100 GCU graduates and their families circled the university's historic Apollo Fountain. GCU President Dr. Joseph Marbach, wearing a customized GCU face mask, joined faculty and staff in waving and cheering on the graduates as they drove by.

Dr. Marbach and staff observed all social distancing guidelines, and all graduates remained in their cars. The graduates did, however, take to social media (#GCU2020) to share their gratitude for being able to celebrate together, while still apart. 

The parade came just hours after the university honored the Class of 2020 during a virtual graduation program that included speeches, student-submitted photos and the calling of more than 700 names. Georgian Court is planning an in-person commencement ceremony for the graduates this fall, pending state executive orders and health guidelines. 

In a congratulations message, Dr. Marbach spoke on how commencements mark new beginnings.

“In today’s environment of uncertainty, it can be difficult to imagine what that new beginning will look like and how you will continue to make your mark,” he said. “However, your Georgian Court education has prepared you to do what GCU graduates do best: expand possibility.

“Our GCU family is guided by the principle that Georgian Court is a ‘Catholic University in the Mercy tradition, empowering students to shape a just and compassionate world.’ … Your charge now is to go forth and shape that just and compassionate world through service and by putting our shared Mercy core values into action.”