Virtual ceremony, real celebration: Bates Technical College celebrates 2020 graduates

Posted: June 09, 2020

Bates Technical College celebrates 2020 graduates in virtual ceremony
The ceremony will premiere online on Friday, June 12 at 6 p.m., with Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards as keynote speaker.

Tacoma, Wash. – As Bates Technical College celebrates its 80th anniversary, the college will hold the most unique commencement ceremony in its history. The virtual ceremony will premiere on Friday, June 12 at 6 p.m. at or at

Originally scheduled on Thursday, May 21 at the Tacoma Dome, the college made the difficult decision to celebrate its 2020 graduates virtually, because of the restrictions and regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All 2020 graduates are invited to participate in the in-person ceremony in 2021.

Dr. Lin Zhou at podium, cameras on.

Dr. Lin Zhou, President, reads her speech at KBTC Public Television, in preparation for the event.

The event will mirror an in-person event, with a traditional program that includes speakers, an announcement of graduates’ names, with the special addition of videos and photos of participating graduates, and an abundance of pomp and circumstance.

“We are proud of our 2020 graduates, who have persevered during the toughest of times,” said Dr. Lin Zhou, president of Bates Technical College. “While I know this is not the most preferred way to celebrate, we did not want to delay honoring our graduates as they embark on a new chapter in their lives. The entire faculty and staff applaud our students, and I invite everyone to join in the celebration.”

Graduate speaker, Katie Say

The 2020 student speaker is Certified Medical Assistant graduate Katherine Say.

This year, the college is honored to host City of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards as its honored keynote speaker. The 2020 student speaker is Certified Medical Assistant graduate Katherine Say.

Annually, more than 600 students complete their education at Bates and leave to begin careers throughout the year. To learn more about the commencement ceremony, visit




About Bates Technical College
Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 45+ career education programs and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 7,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.