You can still celebrate your grad

Drive-thru diplomas are going to be the standard across the board for the Class of 2020, and though this year’s grads aren’t going to get the usual amount of pomp and circumstance at their ceremonies, there are still ways for us to make this time memorable for the Class of 2020.

Take a drive around the island and you’ll see that already Kaua‘i is starting to celebrate the graduation milestone. Pictures are stretched along the highway in Lihu‘e, Waimea and Kapa‘a, houses are decorated with balloons and banners. Aunties and grandmothers are out and about picking flowers for making lei.

Kaua‘i won’t let this occasion pass without acknowledgment. We’re so very proud of our students, from pre-k keiki to our post-secondary grads. Graduation is a major milestone, and even if it’s a virtual high-five, we want to say congratulations to our graduates.

To that end, The Garden Island is launching a keepsake project for the Class of 2020 in which grads’ photo will be featured across the front page of the newspaper, with their name and a message.

Then, that front page of TGI can be turned into a pdf and jpeg that can be used however you’d like. We’ll provide the front-page tribute to your grad and the pdf and jpeg images and you can then put it on T-shirts or coffee mugs, banners or graduation-announcement cards.

Celebration of graduations will be mounting throughout the month of May, even though there won’t be the usual packed stadiums and cheering crowds of friends and family to celebrate in the traditional ways.

There will still be grads in caps and gowns moving their tassels and claiming the diplomas they worked so hard to earn. Some schools are working on plans to allow grads to convoy through town parade-style, with social-distancing rules strictly enforced, so their communities can cheer them into their next phase of life.

Putting your grad’s picture on the front of TGI is another way to mark the occasion.

We’re also getting ready to put out our annual 2020 graduation special section, tucked into the paper with messages to our Class of 2020 included. The deadline to reserve ad space with personal messages to grads, or to the Class of 2020 in general, is Monday, May 18.

Class of 2020 graduates, you’re paving the way into the future. Those of us who have already turned the tassel have lasting memories of graduation day — the love from family and friends, the pride you feel when you hear your name called, the heartfelt addresses from classmates and mentors.

Your graduation is unique. You’ll emerge from this occasion with memories of your own, memories you’ll be able to cherish for the rest of your lives — and a unique story, an experience other grads haven’t had.

Many graduation speeches focus on the subject of perseverance, seeing a goal to the end, and that subject rings especially true in these extraordinary and unparalleled times.

Class of 2020, it took perseverance for you to make it to the day you get to pick up your diploma. You did it. Now, remember the hard work and foresight you had to implement to get here. Keep those lessons close at hand as you take your next steps into an uncertain world — you’ll need them.

We celebrate your accomplishments and offer a heartfelt congratulations to all of our Kaua‘i grads, and hope you’ll join with us in honoring them with a front-page tribute in TGI.

For more information or to order a front-page keepsake for your grad, see thegardenisland.comclassof2020

To reserve space in the 2020 graduation special section, contact Eden Raquel at 245-0432 or


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