June 19, 2020
Dear DUHS Class of 2020 Seniors, Parents, Guardians, Families, and Friends,
Thank you all for your patience and support as we find ways to celebrate the graduating seniors. We hope that everyone enjoyed seeing the names of the seniors painted on the soccer field. Please go to our social media for a great overhead view. Thank you to the staff and parents that helped with cap and gown distribution and photos. Along with a special thanks to our first responders who sent our graduates entering the military off in a grand fashion. They say it sometimes takes a community, and Dowagiac Union High School is fortunate to have such loyal supporters.
It is now time for us to consider graduation. While we had hoped to meet one last time as a group on Chris Taylor Alumni Field, it is not an allowable option at this time. Based upon the current status of all Executive Orders issued by the Governor and our desire to keep everyone as safe as possible, we have decided to host a drive-through style graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 27 starting at 10 AM under the canopy of the new competition gym. We are eager to celebrate our graduates no matter what the weather entails. This will be a rain or shine event.
The following are important details about the ceremony and staging areas:
Only one vehicle per graduate will be allowed. Remember that the graduate will exit the vehicle to receive his/her diploma. Each vehicle will need a driver that is not a graduating senior.
The east lot and lot in front of the HS (Top 10 only) will open at 9:30. There will be no additional parking available for other spectators and no walk up spectators will be allowed during the ceremony.
Students must wear their cap and gowns. Remember to wear any honor chords or NHS related regalia. They are an important part of your celebration.
The Co-Valedictorians, Salutatorian, and remaining Top 10 students will start the vehicle line-up, in order, in the circular drive in front of DUHS. After these ten vehicles line up, all other vehicles will line up in the staging first come, first served in the east parking lot (between the auto shop and HS). There will be parking attendants to line up vehicles in orderly, single file lines.
Please enter the east parking lot from the south entrance. There will be no one allowed to enter the lot from Prairie Ronde. This will help minimize congestion. Dowagiac Police Officers will assist drivers in safely moving from the east lot to the lot in front of the high school as the line moves ahead.
All vehicles will follow the curve of the sidewalk to the designate drop-off zone. At this location, the graduate will exit the vehicle and proceed in the processional line by walking to the stage under the new gym canopy.
The driver and other guests in the vehicle will remain in the vehicle and move along the sidewalk until directly in front of the canopy to see the granting of the diploma.
Vehicles will then load the graduates and proceed to the west exit of the gym parking lot. Dowagiac Police will assist drivers to ensure that vehicles are able to exit safely. When leaving the lot, please plan to make a left hand turn (heading south). This will avoid unnecessary congestion back at the staging area.
When choosing a vehicle, please consider that only two axle vehicle vehicles will be allowed. Trailers, motor homes, and other alternative vehicles will not be permitted in the parking lots.
The west lot outside the new gym will not be available for parking.
There is no rehearsal required. We will assist everyone that day in properly staging vehicles, dropping off and picking up graduates, etc.
In our attempts to limit the amount of time that families are waiting in the parking lot for their arrival at the podium, we suggest the following arrival times:
Top 10 9:45 (Ceremony will begin at 10 AM)
Seniors Last Name A-B 10:10
Last C-D 10:20
Last Name E-G 10:30
Last Name H 10:40
Last Name I-K 10:50
Last Name L 11:00
Last Name M-N 11:10
Last Name O-P 11:15
Last Name Q-R 11:20
Last Name S 11:30
Last Name T-Z 11:35
Please see the diagram of DUHS and the staging areas that accompany this letter for a visual.
Have fun! While this isn’t the exact ceremony that we all anticipated and hoped for...it is a special time for the Class of 2020. We are proud of you. We know you will do great things. Enjoy! Be positive and celebrate with your family.
As a special memento to the Class of 2020, the staff of Dowagiac Union High School in collaboration with the Dowagiac Union School District Board of Education, Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Maintenance Supervisor, Technology Department, Performing Arts Center Director, Celebration Graduate Parent Volunteers, and DUHS Yearbook Advisor will release a special video tribute for the graduates and the community to enjoy. It will highlight the Class of 2020, their accomplishments and academic awards, speeches, and highlights from their senior year. It will be released after the ceremony.
It has been our privilege to be a part of each graduate’s journey. It is our pleasure to help them celebrate their accomplishments.