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Murray Journal

Murray high schools hold graduations for all seniors together

May 20, 2021 10:13AM ● By Julie Slama

Lining up, 6 feet apart, 2020 graduates of Murray High ready themselves for a historic commencement walk. (Photo courtesy of Scott Wihongi/Murray High)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Last year, in the outbreak of COVID-19, Murray High School deviated from its norm and held a commencement ceremony of sorts, socially distant, in its auditorium.

This year, still during a pandemic, Murray High organizers are planning to hold the May 28 ceremony on its football field. The hybrid ceremony will be both prerecorded, with virtual speeches and yet-to-be-determined musical numbers to be aired at 8 a.m. on Spartan Vision, the school’s broadcast. At 10 a.m. there will be an in-person presentation of graduates receiving their diplomas; it also will be live-streamed. 

“It was very important for our senior students that they all be together,” Principal Scott Wihongi said about the 390 seniors who typically walk at graduation.

As of press deadline, each graduate will be allotted two tickets for family, masks are required and everyone will be 3 feet apart as per the Salt Lake County Health Department guidelines, he said.

Following the presentation of diplomas, graduates and families will be allowed to take photos around the campus. 

Murray High’s commencement theme is the same as the class theme student government leaders chose, “Unite and Prevail.”

Wihongi said that if there are sprinkles in the forecast, the plan is to “carry forward with it. We'll just keep watch on the forecast and encourage umbrellas. If it's severe, we will delay for a bit until it hopefully clears.” 

At Cottonwood High, 338 graduating seniors voted to hold a traditional commencement together, which will be held at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 3 in the school auditorium. Seniors will be able to invite up to five guests and tickets will be distributed when students pick up their caps and gowns.

The program will include two senior speakers, selected following the May 13 auditions, as well as the valedictorian, salutatorian, senior class president and the student body president. Live music will be provided by the Madrigals and the combined orchestra and band.

The evening of graduation, Cottonwood’s PTSA graduation night committee will hold “Grad Night at All Star Bowling” in West Valley City. Graduates will be bussed at 10 p.m. and the bus will return at 3 a.m., Friday, June 4.