Updated 6-2-20 with commanding officer’s remarks.
SPRINGFIELD – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Class of 2020 to find creative ways to celebrate the milestone of graduating from high school and college.
The 1844th Transportation Company, based in East St. Louis, serving in support of the state’s COVID-19 response operations, found their own creative way to honor one of their own who is among Kaskaskia College’s Class of 2020.
Spc. Jaylyn Bower, a motor transport operator, of Nashville, was set to graduate with an Associates of Applied Arts, majoring in Criminal Justice, from Kaskaskia College in Centralia. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a change in graduation ceremonies.
The unit held an impromptu graduation ceremony to honor Bower’s accomplishments, complete with a musical rendition of Pomp and Circumstance and the presentation of a diploma.
Bower’s commanding officer, Captain Theodore Tebbe, said, “SPC Bower is a vehicle driver for the 1844th Transportation Company. For the past 50+ days though, she has been an integral part of the warehouse operations our unit has been conducting in support of the COVID-19 response. SPC Bower’s natural leadership ability and work ethic found her in a position well above her rank. She leads our data input team that manages millions of PPE our warehouses are receiving and distributing throughout the state. We are very fortunate to have SPC Bower as part of our team and are very proud of her accomplishments at Kaskaskia College.”
In the ceremony, Bower walked across a makeshift stage and was handed her diploma by some of her fellow unit members.
A video of the ceremony can be found below.
As many of you know, we have postponed our commencement ceremony to July 10. However, one of our graduates, Jaylyn Bower, was able to take part in a commencement ceremony thanks to her National Guard unit which they shared with us. The members of the Illinois National Guard are truly incredible and we are so proud of the work they and Jaylyn have done in these times to protect us. Stay safe and thank you. #WeAreKC!
Posted by Kaskaskia College on Thursday, May 21, 2020