Editor’s Note: This story is a part of The Bacon, the annual spring satirical issue published by The Beacon. That means the story you’re about to read is a work of fiction where all names are changed. Any resemblance to real-life people, places or things is intended purely as satire, parody or spoof; it is not intended to communicate any true or factual information. Enjoy!
Due to COVID-19, seniors across the nation—high school and college—lost the opportunity to have an in-person commencement. Specifically, those from Northwestern College won’t get to proudly celebrate their transition from student to graduate as they walk across the stage, receive their diploma and pose for one last picture with President Creg Ghristy.
“Posing picture after picture with each senior is my favorite part of graduation,” Ghristy said. “I always look forward to the cheek cramps and seeing every student one last time before they move on to bigger and better things.”
NW has received a number of emails in the last couple of weeks from students asking if there is any way to still receive their diplomas from Ghristy and get that final grip-and-grin for the fam and Instagram.
The faculty and staff met via Zoom to discuss options. It just didn’t seem possible for the seniors to get their wish.
“Because we can’t meet in person or shake hands or be within six feet of each other, it is with a heavy heart that the senior’s request is impossible,” said Phate Ninney, vice president of academic affairs.
Illa Ben Doer, administrative assistant, began typing up an email to send the seniors apologizing for not being able to grant them their wish when, suddenly, she was struck with an idea:
Cardboard cutouts of Ghristy.
She started a completely different email:
Dear faculty and staff,
I think I might have just the thing to keep everyone safe and still make the seniors happy—we send each of them a cardboard cutout of President Creg Ghristy holding out his hand.
Not even five minutes later, she was receiving emails left and right in agreeance that a cardboard Ghristy was the best option.
Ghristy wanted to wait until morning but knew this project couldn’t wait. Knowing the seniors needed their cutouts as soon as possible, he called Mem Laurer, NW’s multimedia producer, in the middle of the night.
“Mem, I need a quick photoshoot,” Ghristy said. “I need to be made into a cardboard cutout for the seniors ASAP. This can’t wait till morning.”
Mem grabbed his gear, rushed out the door, dashed through Kepp Hall to make sure he had the right lens, and met Ghristy in the chapel. A few photos later, Mem was on his way back to his office to start on project make-Creg-Ghristy-a-cardboard-cutout. After days of hard work, the product was finished.
“It was the best picture of me I’d ever seen,” Ghristy said. “The seniors are going to love this life-size cardboard cutout of me.”
Illa Ben Doer began typing another email to the class of 2020:
Due to the extra free time the faculty and staff have with no students on campus, we’ve devoted hours and hours in meeting to discuss how to best meet your need of receiving your diploma from President Ghristy and getting the classing grip-and-grin photo. I am pleased to say we came up with a brilliant idea—a cardboard cutout.
Each of you will receive one life-size cardboard cutout of President Ghristy holding his hand out to pose in a photo with you on your graduation day. Your diplomas will be sent in the same package.
So, graduating class of 2020, put on your cap and gown, grab the diploma we’ll send to you in the next couple of weeks and smile big for your final photo with President Ghristy.
COVID-19 may interfere with a lot of things, but a cardboard cutout of President Creg Ghristy for seniors to pose with isn’t one of them.
Congratulations class of 2020, you made it!