Thirty-eight graduates from the Arkansas Tech University College of Education Class of 2020 participated in a socially-distanced starfish pinning ceremony at the conclusion of the fall 2020 semester.
The pins are presented annually to graduates of the ATU College of Education and are based upon a story adapted from a 1969 essay by Loren Eiseley. The story ends with an old man telling a young man that while he cannot save every starfish that washes ashore, he can make a difference for each one that he returns to the ocean.
“This ceremony typically takes place on reading day,” said Dr. Linda Bean, dean of the ATU College of Education. “The students and their families are invited and we have refreshments. Each of their names are called out and their advisors and faculty are able to congratulate them and share in their excitement of completion of their degree. The last time this was done was December 2019.”
The drive-thru pinning hosted by the ATU College of Education was conducted by appointment and in accordance with guidelines reviewed and approved by the ATU COVID-19 task force. Each ATU College of Education graduate in attendance received their pin touch free when it was extended to them in a swimming pool skimmer.
“The College of Education Ambassadors thought of the idea of the drive-by pinning and I thought it was a great idea,” said Bean. “I proposed it to the COE Excellence in Education Committee and we were able to get approval from academic affairs and the ATU COVID-19 task force. From there, Mrs. Danielle Hodges took over and made this a very special event with collaboration with the ATU Department of Public Safety and the COE faculty. It was so great to actually see some of the faculty in person.”
Learn more about the ATU College of Education at www.atu.edu/education.