Senior mementos, graduation gear distributed with car line for virtual graduation

Dean+of+students+Ana+Campos+places+a+box+in+Alia+Thomas%27+family+car.

Logan Aimone

Dean of students Ana Campos places a box in Alia Thomas' family car.

Amanda Cassel, Editor-In-Chief

Much like seniors have lined up in early June every year for the annual procession into Rockefeller Chapel for graduation, 135 seniors lined up along 59th Street on May 15 from 3-6 p.m. The only difference — each was masked and in their cars to receive a box of graduation gear.

Each box contained a cap with tassel, a gown, a yard or window sign, a senior T-shirt and, if they attended ninth grade retreat, a letter from their ninth grade selves. Seniors also received an invitation from the prom committee to the virtual prom at 6:30 p.m. on June 6.

Administrators and some senior advisers stood in front of the Blaine steps, waving and supporting the seniors with foam fingers as each box was placed in a car. A Laboratory Schools photographer captured the event.

Between 3 and 6 p.m., cars crept along 59th Street, some with seniors on their own, others with their families packed into the car. According to Dean of Students Ana Campos, 17 seniors will receive their boxes by mail. 

“It was nice to hear the teachers and admin cheering us on, and they had this banner with all of our names on it and ‘Congratulations,’” senior Nathan Appelbaum said, “but really it all went pretty quickly, not like real graduation.” 

For Nathan, getting his gear felt like an individual experience, unlike graduation, which should be something the entire class experiences together.

“It felt like we were each in our own car doing our own thing,” Nathan said. “We spend all of high school looking forward to this time of year and now we don’t get to experience it.”

Graduation will take place virtually June 11 at 2:30 p.m on YouTube Premium.

“We knew graduation wasn’t going to be the same,” Nathan said. “So, it makes sense that the way we get our gear wouldn’t be the same either.”