ISU March through the Arch

Idaho State University graduates participate in the traditional March through the Arch at the Pocatello campus during the May 2019 graduation ceremony. This year, graduates will participate in a virtual march, via video, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

POCATELLO — Famous Idaho State University alums Jared Allen and Marvin Lewis have prepared congratulatory messages for this spring’s graduates, who will experience a commencement march virtually, via video.

Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 graduates will participate in motor processions and will be invited to be photographed in front of the backdrop of a life-sized composite sign of their respective senior class.

In lieu of traditional commencement ceremonies amid the coronavirus pandemic, ISU and District 25 have planned a host of creative ways to honor and celebrate their graduates.

ISU intends to mail each graduate a diploma with a special cover and a printed program. Graduates will also be invited to march in person during ISU’s December commencement ceremonies.

In the mean time, the ISU Alumni Association will be sending out congratulatory videos from alums, including Lewis, who is a former Cincinnati Bengals Coach, and Allen, who was a stand-out defensive end in the NFL.

In addition to the Alumni Association’s video, ISU’s Office of the President will release three videos for graduates. On Monday, ISU sent graduates a virtual March through the Arch video. A graduation compilation video will be sent on Wednesday, and on Friday Satterlee will send a video commencement address to graduates.

The individual colleges plan to host about a dozen virtual graduation and awards ceremonies. The College of Technology has organized a carpool celebration, which will drive to the Eames Center on Alvin Ricken Drive where program graduates will be invited to pick up a commemorative medallion.

“I am looking at a list of more than 50 items of all the different things the different colleges are doing to honor graduates and those range from social media posts — photos and stories of grads — to videos they are making with congratulatory messages from deans and faculty members,” said Allyson Johnson, ISU director of university events and protocol. “The graduates this year are missing out on a huge crossing-the-stage moment at formal commencement, but I feel like the colleges are doing more to honor grads this year than ever before.”

School District 25 will provide a senior portrait of each graduate in a cap and gown courtesy of Stuart’s Media, with printed portraits available for purchase. Each senior will also receive a complimentary senior portrait banner with his or her name and school logo. A customized graduation magazine featuring senior profiles will be distributed with diplomas on June 1 at no cost, and car magnets will be given to students with honors, high honors, highest honors and STEM graduate designations.

Motor processions will be hosted along routes that are specific to each school, pending city approval. Graduates’ names will be announced over a P.A. system as they drive through the ceremony site to receive a diploma cover and participate in the ceremonial turning of the tassel.

School faculty and staff, administrators and board members will stand along the procession route. Families will be able to tune into student speeches, interviews and fight songs while traveling procession routes via a Pocatello Radio Group broadcast. Graduates are encouraged to wear their caps and gowns during the procession, and two vehicles will be allowed for each graduate — preferably decorated with banners, academic designation magnets and other high school memorabilia.

Graduation processions will be broadcast via Facebook Live.

In partnership with the Idaho State Journal and Stuart’s Media, senior profiles will be featured at

In addition, each of the four district high schools will have its own sign set up featuring a life-sized composite of the graduating class. According to the district, the signs are so large they each must be supported by a school bus.

The district also intends to share celebration photos submitted by families on its social media pages.