Josten's Championship Ring

Seventh in a series of stories highlighting partner activities supporting the efforts against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered commencement ceremony plans for high schools, colleges and universities across America in May and June, but Jostens is ensuring Class of 2020 graduates are properly honored and celebrated for their achievements during this extraordinary time.

Jostens – the nation’s leading provider of custom class jewelry, graduation products and yearbooks serving K-12 and college education markets – has launched Virtual Commencement Centers. These deliver digital tools to high schools and colleges that help school leaders plan and execute virtual graduation ceremonies, many of which have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virtual Commencement Centers are provided at no cost to schools and families.

“At Jostens, we believe every graduate deserves to be celebrated, especially this year,” said John Bibeault, vice president and general manager of Jostens Scholastic Division. “We work with principals all over the country who are managing school safety and closures related to COVID-19, and they’re looking for resources to help plan and execute a commencement ceremony virtually if need be. The tools we’ve developed, and are offering at no cost to them, will help them do that in a safe, celebratory way.”

The digital tools included in the Virtual Commencement Centers include Pomp & Circumstance audio files, digital commencement speeches from notable personalities, student slide templates and additional digital connection tools for school administrators.

The virtual commencement ceremonies provided by Jostens will allow schools across the United States to honor the students who had their senior years of high school or college halted and made the challenging transition from in-person education to online courses in the wake of the pandemic.

“The college commencement ceremony is meaningful for students, alumni and also to the school, as it represents tradition,” said Chris Poitras, vice president and general manager of Jostens College Division. “Our Virtual Commencement Center is something college administrators and commencement directors are looking for to celebrate their graduates and honor their school traditions.”

The free access to Jostens high school and college Virtual Commencement Centers is available through each schools’ Jostens sales representative. Students or families interested in more information regarding virtual commencements should first contact their school representative to get in touch with their school’s Jostens representative.

Jostens’ racing division, which serves as the creator of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge Championship Ring, as well as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Championship trophy, the Astor Cup, and the INDYCAR Championship Ring, is also honoring students and assisting them in their future education endeavors by providing two students each with $500 scholarships.

PPE Production

Jostens also has transitioned its graduation apparel production facilities to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

Jostens’ graduation product, apparel and letter jacket facilities are making non-surgical cloth face masks and Level I disposable isolation gowns. The company’s plants in Laurens, South Carolina, and the Dominican Republic are producing more than 8,500 masks per week to distribute to primary and secondary partners.

Plus, a Maco-Mex facility in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which Jostens partners with each year to produce high school and graduation gowns, is expected to produce up to 120,000 Level I disposable medical gowns per month during the pandemic.

By joining the expansive list of private businesses joining the global fight against COVID-19 and manufacturing health and safety materials, Jostens is rekindling its history of stepping up amid civic needs.

During World War II, Jostens contributed to the United States’ war effort by adapting its jewelry plant and equipment to manufacture precision parts and other materials.