WestJet threw 4 students a mini-graduation on their flight home after their college closed due to the coronavirus

Four athletes at their

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Four athletes at their “graduation.”
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Nancy Watt Garner/Facebook
  • Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada, is just one of the institutions around the world that is canceling in-person classes and switching to online classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The school’s womens’ volleyball team competed in the CCAA National Championships last week, and four members of the team are seniors.
  • Instead of letting them miss out on the graduation experience, WestJet held a graduation ceremony for them on their flight home from Quebec City, complete with diplomas and candy.
  • WestJet recently said there will be “major reductions in staffing levels” due to their cancellation of all international flights.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As more and more schools close their doors and switch to online classes due to the COVID-19 virus, it’s leaving college seniors with a shortened final semester, and most likely no official graduation ceremony. Briercrest College in Saskatchewan, Canada, is no different.

On Briercrest’s women’s volleyball team, there are four seniors. They found out that classes and graduation had been canceled right before they journeyed back to school after competing at the CCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championships in Quebec City, according to Nancy Garner, the mother of one of the seniors, Rebecca Garner. Of course, the flight home would be a somber one.

However, once the flight attendants on their flight home got wind of the canceled graduation, a plan was put into action by one of Briercrest’s chaplains, Joelle Epp. The WestJet flight attendants would hold a small “graduation ceremony” on the plane right before they landed.

“I was so shocked! I didn’t think [it] would actually happen. Everyone on the plane was clapping and loving it, it seemed like,” Rebecca Garner told Insider.

You can watch the ceremony below, complete with “Pomp and Circumstance,” diplomas, a processional, and Kit Kats.

Nancy Garner shared the video after her daughter let her know that she had “graduated” on the plane. “So, my daughter, basically all she did was [say], ‘Hey Mom, I graduated, I don’t have to finish my school. I got a certificate,'” she told Insider.

“I was just happy because everybody was panicking over the coronavirus, and this is just finally something nice that somebody did,” she continued.

Congratulations to Ashley Erickson, Kirsty Kindrachuk, Rebecca Garner, and Elicia Weibe, who posed for photos with their handmade diplomas after the ceremony.

The grads.

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The grads.
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Nancy Watt Garner/Facebook

Like other airlines, WestJet, a Canadian airline, has been hit by the fallout from the coronavirus, as countries seek to restrict travel. As of March 22, it will be suspending all international travel, it said in a statement. The airline also recently said there will be “major reductions in staffing levels” due to their cancellation of flights.