Past the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Waynesburg University’s Charter Day was held entirely as an online event. It was pre recorded and shown on Tuesday, March 21. As mentioned previously in the Yellow Jacket, Charter Day chicken was still served and guest speaker Mark Harner made an appearance.
Despite all the complications from COVID-19, Waynesburg University was able to keep the tradition of Charter Day alive. President Douglas G. Lee was satisfied with the results that were produced.
“Although it was virtual, I had a number of positive comments from many people that listened,” Lee confessed in a phone call interview. “The essential meaning and message of Charter Day was still conveyed and secondly, we still had Charter Day chicken.”
Doing this event online is new to Waynesburg University. The virtual Charter Day plan was under construction for more than a month, according to Lee. Changes to the normal Charter Day plans had to be made to account for the restrictions on crowds and gatherings, especially for the chapel service and guest speaker presentation.
“Planning a service virtually can often feel like it takes away from the formality of an occasion,” executive assistant to the president, Laura Lawrence expressed in an email interview. “We worked hard to make sure that we were able to convey what a special event Charter Day is, even in this virtual forum.”
Lee said, “everything went according to plan.” He was proud of everyone involved in the construction of this virtual event.
“I’m always impressed with the commitment to the mission,” Lee claimed. “In spite of challenging times, we were able to continue with some of our traditions, even though it was a slightly different venue, very proud of the work of everyone.”
Commitment was a word given a lot from Lee during the interviews. He was very proud of the commitment from the students and faculty and staff throughout this whole process. Despite the challenges the campus was tasked with, the people found a way to make it work.
“I think it shows that we’ll find a way to make things happen,” Lee said. “Even in the middle of all these limitations that we were saddled with, we still made it work.”
The hard work and determination of the student body, faculty, staff and community doesn’t go unnoticed.
“The campus community here at Waynesburg is second to none,” Lawrence said. “There is never a doubt that faculty, students, and staff will rise to the occasion whenever they are needed. This year’s virtual Charter Day was no exception.”
Of course Charter Day can’t be brought up without honoring the chicken. The cafeteria was able to revert to some normalcy by having meals served in a buffet style. Plastic dividers were put up and all the food was served by the workers. Laura Lawrence answered the question of if she had any chicken with one word: “absolutely!”
“The tradition of Charter Day chicken is one that brings excitement to us all,” Lawrence said. “Even though we had a virtual ceremony, we couldn’t celebrate the day without the traditional meal. The wonderful Aladdin team was thoughtful in the way they brought some normalcy to campus by keeping the tradition of not only the meal, but the formality of the event.”