By Sally Rummel

Alexandria Pompei, 21, was looking forward to her May 2 commencement from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, at Michigan Stadium, also known as the “Big House.”

Like so many other people experiencing canceled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pompei was disappointed that her college career had to end so abruptly, with the uncertainty that goes along with such a decision.

“I was sad how things have changed in the last week,” Pompei said. “I worked on a senior project for two semesters and it all goes out the window in one day.”

Pompei is a student at the Stamps School of Art and Design, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She also has a minor in Global Media Studies from the Department of Film, Television and Media in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

Always an optimist who “rolls with the punches,” Pompei still ordered her cap and gown and decided to lighten the mood of the situation by staging her own graduation with a video in her apartment.

“I went to Google Translate and typed in ‘University of Michigan Class of 2020,’” Pompei said. “Pomp & Circumstance was playing in the background and I walked in front of the camera to receive my diploma — a rolled up napkin, as my name was announced. Then I turned the tassel to the other side.”

Pompei sent the video to some friends and her parents, Michael and Karen Pompei of Grand Blanc. Karen is the branch service manager at Huntington Bank in Fenton.

Pompei, a 2016 graduate of Grand Blanc High School, has also been active in the arts community through Fenton Arts Council, including the 2016 Artzy Mask Competition in which she won first place and the People’s Choice award.

Pompei’s graduation ceremony isn’t the only uncertainty she’s facing. She is supposed to be moving May 18 to Orlando, Florida, where she has a job as a cast member at Walt Disney World through The Disney College Program. “With the (Disney) parks all closed, I’m not sure exactly what the plan will be,” she said.

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