BBA pursues graduation events

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MANCHESTER — Facing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Burr and Burton Academy is getting creative in its plans to honor the class of 2020. Rather than one big ceremony with graduates, family and guests celebrating together in one big ceremony, BBA instead will be celebrating in a variety of ways over multiple days.

The graduation plans pay homage to BBA's traditions and history, while recognizing the reality brought by the pandemic restrictions.

"We are excited to share this series of events to honor this amazing group of seniors," said headmaster Mark Tashjian. "This is their time, and while we have had to re-imagine some of our traditions, we will celebrate BBA's class of 2020 with pride and gusto."

Events begin Tuesday, May 26, when BBA's final assembly of the year will be broadcast on the school's website at 12:30.

Senior speaker Grace Sherwood and faculty speaker Rob Hunter will deliver messages to the the graduating seniors.

Later that afternoon, a senior car parade is planned for 5:30 p.m. with a rain date of Wednesday.

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The seniors will be led by the Manchester Fire Department from Riley Rink throughout the town before finally passing by the BBA campus.

Students will receive individual bells to ring from their cars to stand in for the traditional campus bell-ringing on the final day of class.

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The event will be broadcast live on GNAT-TV with live commentary by parade emcees Peter Nicholson and Nancy Biller.

The community is invited to line the parade route, while socially distanced, to salute the class of 2020.

On Monday, June 1, scholarship night will be broadcast live on BBA's website at 7 p.m. Seniors receiving scholarships will be notified in advance so they can be sure to tune in.

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The traditional diploma ceremony will happen in a series of small events spread over four days from Monday, June 1, through Thursday, June 4.

Each senior will have the chance to walk in cap and gown on the BBA campus, receive his or her diploma, and take photos on the senior steps.

The 187th annual commencement ceremony will take place as scheduled at 5:30 p.m. June 5 at a special drive-in ceremony in the Bromley Mountain parking lot.

While students and their families must remain in their vehicles, the program will include speeches, a presentation of awards, a reading of the names of all members of the class of 2020, and the official graduation declaration.

For more information, contact Kate Leach, director of advancement at


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