ORONO, Maine — Out of fear of not having a commencement ceremony because of the coronavirus, the University of Maine class of 2020 held what they called, 'corona-mencement'.

As many as five hundred seniors received a certificate of graduation, with a squirt of hand sanitizer. These certificates came with an elbow bump from Dean of Students, Robert Dana.

And of course, a celebration with friends.

The whole event was organized by one student, Sophia Palangas.

Palangas wanted to be sure she had the opportunity to say goodbye to her friends now that students will not be coming back to campus because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"It just meant we could have one happy event to leave on because this place does mean a lot to us," Palangas said. 

When asked about large group gatherings Dean Dana said, "well as you know there was a lot of social distancing going on and a lot of hand sanitizing being sprayed in everyone's hands. The students needed to come together."

University officials say they are monitoring COVID-19 before making a final decision on the May commencement ceremony.

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