Commencement weekend to feature virtual and online elements

2021 graduation tassel

Hesston College has finalized plans for commencement activities on Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, blending virtual and in-person events in an effort to balance a celebration of student achievement with a continued need for safety.

Hesston’s commencement weekend kicks off on Friday, April 30, with musical events occurring throughout the day. Baritone Ethan Klassen (Mountain Lake, Minn.) and tenor Alex Miller (Arlington, Kan.) will livestream a sophomore vocal recital at 2 p.m. At 4 p.m., sophomore Tanner Unruh (Washington, Ill.) will present a piano recital via livestream. A day of music will be capped with an outdoor block concert by Bel Canto Singers at 7 p.m. The public is invited to gather in a socially-distanced manner at the Mullet Drive parking lot, or to tune into the livestream of the concert at

Saturday, May 1, features a full slate of activities both online and on campus. Nurses will participate in an outdoor pinning in the morning. The Hesston College Performing Arts department will present a livestreamed theatre showcase at 1 p.m., followed by a livestreamed vocal recital by sophomores Kara Longenecker (soprano, Harrisonburg, Va.) and Caleb Oesch (baritone, Caldwell, Idaho) at 2 p.m. From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., graduates and their guests are invited to a reception at the Hesston College hangar to commemorate the first class of HC aviators to receive a bachelor of science degree in Aviation – Professional Pilot.

Saturday’s events will conclude with two commencement activities. In mid-afternoon, graduates are invited come to receive their diplomas from Dr. Joe Manickam, president of Hesston College, and take pictures with select guests. At 7 p.m., Hesston College will celebrate its most recent class with a virtual commencement, streamed at the college’s website and featuring music and student speakers.

“Recent progress in vaccination at the state, county and campus level allowed us to add in-person features to the virtual events we had already planned,” said Dr. Brent Yoder, vice president of Academics at Hesston College. “While it’s not the fully in-person event we dreamed of having when we started the school year last August, we’re pleased to open the campus for select events.”

For more information on Hesston College’s commencement schedule, links to livestreams and information on public events, visit Schedule changes will be posted as needed.