FREEDOM, Wis. (WFRV) – This pandemic has made us all realize the importance of having a robust number of health care workers, and Saturday, Bellin College held its graduation ceremony to help add more nurses.
The ceremony was held at Field of Scenes drive-in in Freedom.
Tori Hipke received her degree in nursing and says she was happy to have an actual ceremony.
“Like every graduate, you’re always looking to cross the stage and receive your diploma with family and friends, but this is really unique what Bellin College has done for us.”
So many students won’t have a graduation ceremony and Bellin College students realize how lucky they were to be able to don the elusive cap and gown. Some students decorated their cars and limos to celebrate their drive-in graduation.
Mckayla Steenbockz received her degree in nursing and said, “It’s pretty awesome. It’s pretty cool that Bellin College was able to do something like this for us and actually schedule it for the same day that our graduation was supposed to be.”
Amber Wagner received her degree in nursing and is the first in her family to receive a Bachelor’s degree and said, “I’m just shaking with anxiety. I’m so happy to have my family here. I’m a first-generation college student. It’s great to still be able to celebrate this and some way.”
What’s special about this graduating class is that all 134 students are graduating in a healthcare-related field and heading into this pandemic, the students say they’re cautiously optimistic.
Steenbockz says, “It’s a little nerve-wracking but as long as you can stay calm and remember what you were taught. I think it should be just fine.”
“It’s a little scary but it’s also nice to know that we even have more patients to take care of,” Hipke says. “We all did clinicals, so we definitely know how to care for patients.”
Matt Rentmeester is the VP of Strategic Engagement for Bellin College and says, “With everything going on with COVID-19, we wanted to come up with a unique way to celebrate all of our students that work so hard to achieve their degree in healthcare. Healthcare are the heroes that are going out there right now to face this pandemic.”
These graduates are eager to get out on the front lines, knowing they will be our greatest defense against this virus.
The entire graduation was broadcast over the radio so that all could hear the ceremony.
Bellin College told Local 5 that most of these graduates already have jobs.