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Going the Distance: Advertising professor honors seniors with drive-by celebration

May 9, 2020

Posted in: News

By Joshua Smith, Public Relations Sequence Coordinator

Honoring the class of 2020, Jessica Collins, assistant professor of advertising, coordinated a special drive-by celebration for her graduating seniors. “The ideas came to be after I heard how disappointed my students were when they realized we couldn’t have an in-person graduation. This seemed like a fun, safe way to give them their moment,” Collins said. 


Joined by her husband Chris and son Zander, Collins set out to give an added “congratulations” from their family car decorated with words of encouragement. Holding signs that read “Class of 2020” and shouting farewells from the curb, students shared their surprise, gratitude and thanks! 


Senior Victoria Frank said, “I was feeling bad yesterday about not getting a proper graduation or getting to say goodbye to anyone, but this made up for it a million times over. I only had Jess Collins for one semester, and half of that was through a computer screen, so I really couldn’t believe it when she showed up at my house… to see me. It feels good to know that someone is really rooting for you, especially in times like these ... She’s just the best.”


“Truthfully I got as much out of this as they did," Collins said. "I missed them and I thought this would be a fun way to show them that somebody is thinking about them.” 

VCU, the College of Humanities and Sciences and the Robertson School have been honoring graduating seniors over the last few days through videos, social media posts, and Zoom calls. VCU hosted its Virtual Commencement Celebration on May 8 at 10 a.m. on a special Virtual Celebration website. The congratulatory sites will remain available and open to the public through Fall 2020.