Mililani High celebrates its seniors with a very non-traditional graduation ceremony

Updated: May. 17, 2020 at 7:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s graduation season is in full swing, and Mililani High School was among the latest schools to bid their outgoing seniors a fond aloha.

The Central Oahu community came together Sunday in a drive-thru graduation ceremony that took into account social distancing while still giving the seniors the recognition they deserve.

More than 640 graduates were honored. Each of their photos lined the fence of the school.

Families of each graduate loaded into vehicles as they arrived on campus during their designated time slot. Some decked out their vehicles with brown and gold balloons and colorful signs.

The front parking lot of the school was transformed to a convenient roundabout where graduates could pick up their diploma, and be recognized.

It was complete with the same backdrop that would’ve been standing at Aloha Stadium. As they approached the main stage, the graduates could get out, walk across the red carpet, and have their photo taken.

“There were several ideas that we had for today and this was the one that checked off the most boxes in terms of making sure that we kept our social distancing, able to do something that was inclusive of the community, and something that got the kids on a stage, and their parents could see them,” Mililani High School Principal Fred Murphy said.

Off campus, friends and families lined the streets with signs and balloons to cheer on the newest group of MHS alum.

“This is about community,” Murphy added. “The greater Mililani community has really come out for our kids today and I’m super grateful.”

Schools have opted for drive-through and virtual ceremonies after the DOE announced traditional graduations wouldn’t be happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was a challenge to be creative, organizers said, but in the end, it was a unique celebration with an inspirational message behind it.

“Life is about resiliency. Life is about making the moment happen and sometimes it’s not as you planned it,” Murphy said. “So we hope we’re a good example for them today. They certainly are embracing it.”

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