Roane State moves to drive-through commencement in light of COVID-19 concerns

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Roane State Community College’s spring commencement will now be held in a drive-through format due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the state as well as updated guidance from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Drive-through commencement will be held on the Roane County campus in the student parking area (behind the library building). The scheduled dates remain the same: Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25. Spring graduates are invited to drop in between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET on either date to take part in the ceremony.

“We are heartbroken to announce this change in plans to our graduates who overcame so many challenges to finish strong this spring, but we know it is the right call,” Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley said. “Even with precautions, bringing such large groups of people together right now is a risk we are not willing to take. We will do everything we can to make this ceremony special for our graduates while keeping safety our top priority.”

Graduates will have their names announced during the drive-through procession and printed programs will be provided. Roane State faculty and staff members will also be present to help celebrate the participating graduates and their achievements.

To maximize safety, proof of a successfully completed Roane State wellness screening taken the same day of the event must be shown by all graduates at the parking lot check-in location. After check-in, vehicles will proceed to a reception area where graduates will receive their diploma cover, a commemorative face mask and have a brief opportunity to take graduation photos.

Additionally, the following safety protocols will be in place:

  • Face coverings must be worn by all graduates.
  • Only graduates will be permitted to exit their vehicle at the reception area.
  • If graduates choose to exit their vehicle, physical distancing must be maintained.

The wellness screening is available online at the following link: Proof of successful completion can be shown on a mobile device or on a printout at check-in. Guests are not required to complete a wellness screening since they will remain inside their vehicle.

Questions about drive-through commencement can be emailed to Additional details are available online at

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