Dear Riverside Military Academy Family,
Based on the results of the survey of RMA seniors, we will pencil in Saturday, August 8, 2020, at 6 p.m. for an on-campus, in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. The seniors were given several options, including a virtual commencement on the already set date of May 16, but the majority preferred an in-person event in August.
As you know, planning anything three months out is difficult in the present environment, and we will remain attentive and compliant with any federal, state, or local restrictions that may be in place on that date. But, as of this writing, we anticipate that the current restrictions in the state of Georgia will be lifted by mid-June. The 8th is also early enough in August that seniors will likely not have begun college. Regrettably, I know this date will not accommodate every family’s needs, therefore, we intend to live-stream the event for those who cannot attend.
This will be an evening ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. on McLendon Quad with Curtis Hall as a backup venue in the event of inclement weather. Appropriate military honors and traditions will support the Commencement. Additionally, we will incorporate elements from the traditional Silver Taps ceremony that is always held the night before Commencement. We expect that the seniors will return to campus by 10 a.m. on August 8. They will remain separate from the underclassmen who, we anticipate, will already have returned to campus. (Seniors will not spend any nights on campus, and the barracks will be off-limits.) Lunch and dinner will be served to the seniors, and an area of campus will be set up for their meals and preparation for the ceremony. As for how many guests can attend, we will have to wait and see what health protocols are in place at that time.
When Battalion Commander Areeb Ahmad addressed the Corps of Cadets for the last time on March 13, he spoke of the strong bonds RMA produces in its cadets for one another. We want to honor these bonds and cadets who had to sacrifice so much of their final RMA year. This class deserves our every effort to make this a meaningful completion to their RMA experience, and we remain committed to that goal.