You can usually catch your favorite films at the Transit Drive-In Theatre in Lockport, but little did the St. Mary’s High School class of 2020 know that they’d be celebrating their graduation there.

What You Need To Know

  • St. Mary’s High School class of 2020 celebrates their graduation at the Transit Drive-In
  • School faculty members wanted to still hold a ceremony for the grads
  • The school hopes to still have a formal ceremony later in the summer

"It’s the night we’ve all been looking for," says Daniel May, the senior class president of St. Mary’s High School.

The St. Mary’s High School class of 2020 was supposed to walk across the graduation stage Thursday. But the coronavirus had other plans, forcing the school to get creative.

The school decided to host its 116th commencement at the Transit Drive-In, where students and their families could watch a pre-recorded ceremony from the comfort of their cars. The video featured speeches from faculty, the valedictorian, salutatorian, and the names of the graduates were read to a montage of photos of each student.

Kevin Kelleher, the head of the school, said, "The fact that we can gather in one spot is together enough for me for now."

And it was also enough for the graduates. Many of them haven’t seen each other for months.

"We’re their kids is really how they put it. We’re their kids and they’re not going to abandon us even in these times so they did all this and they did it for us and I’m eternally grateful," May says.

The school’s faculty wanted to still honor all the hard work the students put in over their time in high school and also send a message to them during this pandemic.

Keith Junik, the school’s Dean of Academics, says, "We’ve been thrown the world’s largest curveball and for me what we’re trying to do is, what we’ve done through this whole thing, is to be able to kind of react in a positive way."

Kelleher adds, "Every chance I get I remind them to look around if this is the worst thing that happens to them in their lives they’re going to have a pretty good run."

The school hopes to have a more formal ceremony later in the summer if they're allowed to do so.