Implementing social distancing, temperature checks, and mandatory masks, Hillsdale College held its in-person graduation ceremony for students on Saturday, disregarding the executive declaration from Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prohibiting large gatherings.
Throughout the pandemic, Hillsdale County Sheriff Tim Parker has consistently refused to enforce orders that prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people.
The school's general counsel, Robert Norton, reiterated that Hillsdale College was not in violation of the order, noting the order declares that: "Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution under these emergency circumstances."
Norton said Whitmer has made it clear that outdoor activities expressing the first amendment, such as protests, were exempt from the order.
Hillsdale's graduation celebration also included three days of dinners, recitals, and other festivities.