Harrison Graduation

Students wait to walk the stage and receive their diplomas.

The Class of 2020 Graduates
at Wegmans Harrison

Graduation is a time to commemorate years of hard work; a rite of passage that marks both the ending of an era, and the start of something new. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Harrison Central School District faced a dilemma that many schools across the country were struggling to navigate. They wanted to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2020, but a traditional graduation ceremony was not possible. The team at Wegmans Harrison embraced this challenge as an opportunity to be a great neighbor.

“When the school district approached us about using our parking lot for “drive-in” graduations, we felt it was a great way to make a difference for the class of 2020,” said Harrison Service Manager Zach Bell.

Harrison Graduation

Harrison Service Manager Zach Bell with Harrison School District Superintendent, Dr. Louis Wool, and Parsons Memorial Elementary School Assistant Principal, Stephanie Goldman.

On June 25 and 26, over 800 students from Harrison’s elementary, middle, and high schools graduated in the parking lot at Wegmans Harrison. Donning caps, gowns, and facemasks, they walked across a stage setup in front of the store to receive their diplomas. Proud family members observed the commencement from the safety of their cars, listening to speeches and prerecorded performances by the school’s choir and band through their radio. Stadium-sized screens were set up at various locations throughout the parking lot so everyone could watch the events unfold.

“We feel that the event was a great success. Many families have reached out to express their gratitude,” said Bell. “We’re grateful we could lend a helping hand while connecting with many of our neighbors.”