Nursing students graduate to a symphony of car horns

Coronavirus

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It was a graduation like any other…almost.

“Untraditional, yes, but we graduated,” said Rebecca Dickerson.

For Centra College of Nursing students, the feeling was the same either way.

“You would think you wouldn’t be nervous,” said Dickerson, who participated in a drive-through graduation ceremony on Friday, “because you’re not walking across a stage, and then you pull down and you’re like holy cow, I’m shaking. This is it.”

Amy Donaldson, a fellow graduate, agreed.

“I kind of don’t even remember what happened when we pulled up,” Donaldson said. “I was just so excited. I grabbed the things people were handing to me, and we just kept going.”

One by one, students’ names were called. They pulled their car up; handed in their ID badge; and received flowers, a cookie cake, and their diploma. They did all this to a symphony of car horns.

“It was really cool to hear people cheering and see all of the faculty from all the semesters,” said Donaldson. “It was really awesome.”

It was a chance for the close-knit students to celebrate each other.

“We were kind of bummed as a class that we wouldn’t see each other again and we’d just get our diploma in the mail,” said Donaldson, “and maybe wait for the fall for graduation, but this was really special to see everybody cheer and honk for each other when we were driving by, so it was really special.”

Dickerson is glad she was able to graduate with her class, who she said stuck together through the end.

“Never had a group of females and a couple of males that would ride for each other like they did,” she said. “Literally ride for each other!”

Dickerson is on a path to become an ICU nurse, beginning her career in a pandemic.

“Very exhilarating, so it’s nerve-wracking, because all this going on, and I’m about to get thrown in the middle of it.”

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