On May 22, R. J. Corman opened up part of the 2,000-acre grounds at company headquarters in Nicholasville, Kent., for The Providence School, East Jessamine High School and West Jessamine High School to celebrate graduation with processions by car.
It was different than the traditional graduation ceremony, but seniors were able to celebrate their graduation day with classmates and loved ones present in a way that kept everyone safe.
Instead of walking the stage, graduates donned caps and gowns and decked out their personal vehicles with balloons, banners and window paint to caravan in a one-of-a-kind experience. At each ceremony, the R. J. Corman helicopter performed a flyover to kick off the parade. Local police trucks led the way with red and blue lights blazing. The graduates drove through a scenic three-mile loop that circles the natural preserve on the company’s grounds.
As a finale, the grads drove across the R. J. Corman aircraft runway, passing under a congratulatory banner held by the towering ladders of Jessamine County and Nicholasville firetrucks. Along the runway, spectators were lined up in their vehicles cheering the grads on as they received their diplomas—drive-through style. Local radio station, JESS-FM 105.9, broadcasted each school’s ceremony, with remarks from Jessamine County School Superintendent Matt Moore, school principals and senior class representatives. Each graduate’s name was announced on the air.
Company founder Rick Corman graduated from Jessamine County High School in 1973, before the school was split into East/West.
“We were heartbroken for our seniors when we learned that traditional graduation ceremonies would not be possible this May,” said Moore. “We have a responsibility to protect the well-being of our students and also to follow the guidance on mass gatherings from Kentucky Governor, Andy Beshear and public health officials. We were determined to do everything possible, under the current circumstances, to make a ceremony special and memorable for our graduates. R. J. Corman jumped on board immediately to help make this happen, and we were thrilled to partner with them for this event.”
“Our company was pleased to host the celebrations for these students’ accomplishments which they completed during an unprecedented time in history,” said R. J. Corman President and CEO, Ed Quinn. “Our youth will be the leaders of the future. We want our graduates to know that we are proud of them and stand behind them. One of our company’s leadership principles is building the future while embracing the past. While the future may look uncertain for many right now, we wanted to honor the foundations that these students built over the past four years and encourage them to move bravely forward.”
“We have an incredibly close-knit community and we know that Jessamine County is 100% behind these graduates,” said Moore. “We thank R. J. Corman for helping us to honor our graduates in this unique way. We hope that the parades have provided our graduates with a truly unforgettable experience.”