June 12, 2020
Congratulations to our graduating seniors on their upcoming graduation and their many achievements! We are eager to celebrate their achievements with classmates, family, and friends. Commencement is a festive time for the graduates, their families, alumni, and the entire Hattiesburg High School
As we all know, COVID-19 has shifted us to operate at a new normal. However, it is still our goal to ensure that the class of 2020 will be celebrated in great fashion. Due to the most recent guidelines sent from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), the following changes have been made to stay in compliance with the suggestions of the MDE and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
June 26, 2020: Graduation ceremonies will begin at 8:00 a.m. This ceremony will allow graduating seniors to wear their cap & gown and walk across the stage at W.H. Buddy Watkins Gymnasium, located at 701 Stadium Dr. Hattiesburg, MS 39401, as their names are called. Due to the graduates walking individually, the ceremony will last all day.
Graduation Practice: Graduates will practice June 25, 2020, at the W.H. Buddy Watkins Gymnasium, 701 Stadium Dr. Hattiesburg, MS 39401 at 1:00 p.m. Students will be required to wear masks.
Ceremony: The ceremony will be broken into two sections: a morning ceremony, and an afternoon ceremony. Graduates will be arranged in groups of 20. Honor Graduates will walk first, followed by the remaining graduates who will be alphabetically arranged. Families will be allowed to enter the gym and witness their graduate receiving their diplomas. No one will be allowed to sit and watch, as this is intended to be a continuous flow of graduates.
To ensure the safety of our graduates and personnel, only twenty (20) graduates will be scheduled on a time block. Designated groups are outlined in the chart below. All graduation attendees will be required to wear a mask.
Tickets: Each student will be allowed to bring THREE (3) guests to witness their ceremony. Due to miscommunication, tickets with the wrong graduation year were sent out. We are asking each family to return the incorrect “2017” ticket, in exchange for the new “2020” graduation tickets. This exchange will take place at Hattiesburg High School, beginning June 17, 2020, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the Academy Office window. NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE GRADUATION WITH THE 2017 GRADUATION TICKET - NO EXCEPTIONS!
Parking and Traffic: We anticipate that traffic and parking could be an issue. So, we have arranged for each student and their families, to arrive at staggered times. With the exception of “Purple Group 1” Graduates have been assigned a time to arrive at the Ben McNair Center for group staging. A police escort will move each group to the gym at the appropriate time. Please see the attached chart for arrival times.
Photos: We strongly encourage you to take your personal photos on your own days prior to graduation at the locations of your choosing. Only one official photo will be taken at the graduation ceremony on stage. After your student has graduated we ask that you promptly return to your car and exit the staging area so the next group can move in.
It is our desire, in spite of what is going on around us, to give our Seniors as much of a traditional graduation ceremony as possible while maintaining the safety of everyone. The HHS Class of 2020 will be making history!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Principal Eric Boney at 601.520.6796.
Hattiesburg High School