Honking horns and flashing lights from graduate's cars flooded the parking lot at the Nampa Campus Academic Building (NCAB) during College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) 2020 Essential Nursing Pinning Ceremony on May 16.
The celebration kicked off as forty-four vehicles with graduates were greeted by cheering family and friends lining Selland Way, with a Nampa Police Department motorcycle leading the procession. A video produced by CWI captures the sights and sounds of this unique event during the coronavirus pandemic.
Allison Baker, Department Chair of the Professional Nursing program, started the ceremony by welcoming the graduates parked in a semicircle in NCAB’s east parking lot. Board of Trustees Chairperson C.A. “Skip” Smyser praised the dedication of graduates and capped off his remarks with, “Congratulations on this major, milestone accomplishment – go forth, be strong, be mighty, be fearless, and go Otters!”
Following President Bert Glandon’s comments, John Hickey delivered a student message during the presentation.
“I’m pretty sure none of us thought we would be celebrating our pinning in a parking lot, and certainly, we never imagined we would be entering the nursing profession in the midst of the greatest pandemic in over 100 years,” Hickey said. “Never before in our countries history has the importance of healthcare workers been so evident.”
While maintaining social distancing, the graduates received their pins and took their oath, wrapping up the event. As the graduates departed, faculty and staff formed a line and cheered them on.
"Nursing pinning this year was especially heartfelt for me," said Cathleen Currie, Dean of Health. “Seeing the joy and pride in each car as the students and their families drove out made the worries of the week’s gone by worth it. There wasn’t a dry eye among us.”
Visit CWI's Facebook page to view a photo gallery from the event.