UNION, NJ – Union High School will honor the Class of 2020 in a virtual tribute on Wednesday, June 24, and three split session in-person commencements on Wednesday, July 8.

Last month, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies will be allowed, beginning July 3 and, last week, the state’s Democratic leader announced that restrictions for outdoor gatherings by that date are expected to increase to 500. 

“This is not the way any of us planned for senior year to end,” said Union High School Interim Principal Mark Hoyt.  “Unfortunately, the world had other plans.  But we will adapt to the changing circumstances.”

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High school seniors will pick up their caps and gowns on the morning of June 24.  A tribute to the graduates in a slide show will be aired at 6:30 p.m. on TV34, including honoring all 561 seniors with speeches by the graduating classes’ salutatorian and valedictorian, district superintendent and Board of Education president.

On July 8, in-person graduation ceremonies will take place on the high school field, broken up into three sessions.  Hoyt said students will be grouped into one of three sessions by alphabet.  The sessions will be held at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.  Each student will be permitted to bring two guests.  There will be no exceptions to the two guest maximum Hoyt said.

“This is not ideal,” added Hoyt, “but it’s a lesson in overcoming adversity and adapting to the situation around us.”

Ceremonies will be held on either July 9 or 10 in the event of rain.