MYRTLE BEACH — Horry-Georgetown Technical College students have awaited their chance to walk across the stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they will finally have the opportunity at the end of the month.
HGTC leaders discussed guidelines during Tuesday's area commission meeting for the commencement ceremony, which will be held Oct. 27 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
About 250 students have signed up for graduation, HGTC officials shared Tuesday, adding the college had to limit the number of graduates to 300. Each graduate will only be given two tickets to allow the number of guests to stay below state guidelines.
Dr. Melissa Batten, vice president of student affairs, said HGTC was approved within hours for the event by the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
"We were really happy about that," Batten said.
The convention center holds more than 6,000 people. The college plans to abide by strict guidelines, including social distancing and each guest will be required to wear a mask. Only up to 15 people will be allowed on stage and school officials will not be shaking hands with students, said HGTC President Marilyn Fore.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette plans to attend and will give a brief message, Fore said.
Students graduating are those who completed their studies during the spring and summer semester.
The ceremony will be live streamed on HGTC's Facebook channel.