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Catawba College ‘Lights Up’ for graduates

SALISBURY — Catawba College will honor 2020 graduates at area high schools, community colleges, and their own graduates by joining the “Be The Light” Movement, turning on the stadium lights at Kirkland Field at Shuford Stadium for 33 nights, which began Tuesday. With COVID-19 closing schools and canceling or postponing graduation events, Catawba chose this way to honor graduates’ achievements, as well as the local community.

The lights will be turned on for the 2020 Class at Catawba on May 9, the original date of the college graduation ceremony. The program concludes with the last night honoring all Catawba College students. The project, called “20 for 20,” will honor local high school and community college graduates from each school for 20 minutes and 20 seconds each night. The staff at Catawba will turn on the lights at 8:20 p.m.

“The Catawba College seal includes the Latin motto — Sit Lux — which means “Let there be light.” The lights at Shuford sends a symbolic message to our broader community — we understand the lost moments and memories during what should be a celebratory time for high schools and colleges, but progress and our future continue to be bright,” said Jared Tice, senior vice president for the college experience and dean of students.

Turning on the lights also highlights Catawba’s current construction project at Kirkland Field, upgrading drainage and replacing turf, a major step in converting the football and lacrosse field into a community multi-use field. When completed this summer, it will be the first artificial turf football and lacrosse field in Rowan County and can be used 24/7, according to Larry Leckonby, athletics director at Catawba.

The project also highlights Catawba’s “Stay Local” and “Catawba Cares” programs for area high school students. This month, Catawba began a new online program allowing area high school juniors and seniors to take a college course for credit at no cost while their schools are closed. More than 230 students enrolled in the program this April. Here are the “Turn on the Lights” dates for each school:

  • Salisbury High School, Tuesday, April 21
  • North Rowan High School, Wednesday, April 22
  • South Rowan High School, Thursday, April 23
  • Jesse C. Carson High School, Friday, April 24
  • West Rowan High School, Saturday, April 25
  • East Rowan High School, Monday, April 27
  • North Hills Christian School, Tuesday, April 28
  • Rowan County Early College, Wednesday, April 29
  • Salisbury Christian School, Thursday, April 30
  • A.L. Brown Senior High School, Friday, May 1
  • Central Cabarrus High School, Saturday, May 2
  • Concord High School, Monday, May 4
  • Cox Mill High School, Tuesday, May 5
  • Mount Pleasant High School, Wednesday, May 6
  • Northwest Cabarrus High School, Thursday, May 7
  • Stanly Community College, Thursday, May 7
  • Davidson County Community College, Friday, May 8
  • Catawba College, Saturday, May 9
  • Central Davidson Sr HS, Monday, May 11
  • East Davidson High School, Tuesday, May 12
  • Ledford High School, Wednesday, May 13
  • Lexington Senior High School, Thursday, May 14
  • Mitchell Community College, Thursday, May 14
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Friday, May 15
  • West Davidson High School, Saturday, May 16
  • Davie County Early College HS, Monday, May 18
  • Davie High School, Tuesday, May 19
  • Lake Norman High School, Wednesday, May 20
  • Clearview Christian Academy, Thursday, May 21
  • Henderson Independent HS, Friday, May 22
  • N. Kannapolis Christian Academy, Tuesday, May 26
  • North Stanly High School, Wednesday, May 27
  • Catawba College, Thursday, May 28.

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