ABC President Forrest E. Harris, Sr., second in line behind Marshal, Professor Joseph Tribble. leads the 2019 graduates in a ceremonial march from historic Griggs Hall on the Campus.

NASHVILLE, TN — The 2020 Graduation ceremonies at American Baptist will involve four planned activities.  Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, traditional ceremonies have been changed for personal health and safety purposes. The college plans to have four activities to celebrate the graduates in unique ways:

1. A Virtual Graduation – Thursday, June 11, (on the ABC Campus). Through technology, graduates will be able to remotely participate in the unique ceremony at their various home locations.  Some traditional speeches and presentations will be made, other activities will be remote with students.  Graduating seniors here in Nashville will participate in a specially designed section of the program on the ABC campus.

2. Special Presidential Presentation at Graduates’ Home Churches – June-August. Should social distance regulations be lifted, President Harris, along with designated staff, will visit the home churches of out-of-state graduates to celebrate with them and their families.

3. Convocation Recognition – Fall 2020. The 2020 graduates will also be recognized at the ABC Fall Convocation.

4. Special Recognition – May 2021 Graduation. Finally, there will be a combined celebration of the 2020 and 2021 graduates scheduled to take place in May 2021.

President Harris said, “Under these unprecedented experiences, it is important to us at ABC to honor these graduates in special ways because of the unique pandemic taking place during their traditional graduation times.  It is our plan to let our students know how important their academic success is and for us to honor them.”  

Graduates will receive their caps and gowns for the ceremony in order to be completely outfitted in their academic regalia.  Their diplomas will be mailed to them after the virtual ceremony on June 11.

“Our students deserve these special recognitions, so they can go out into the world with a sense of social justice, equity, advocacy, and leadership.  Like graduates before them, they will change the world,” said Attorney Phyllis Hildreth, Vice President for Institutional Strategy and Academics.

Students are excited that they will not have to wait until 2021 to participate in a graduation ceremony and appreciate the activities designed by ABC.  “I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in graduation and that ABC is doing everything to honor our academic success,” said Thomas Arkansas, a graduating senior.

For more information, contact Ciara Smith, Registrar at (615) 687-6896 or via email at