On Saturday, May 16, 2020, Richard Dylan Newell of Morton graduated from Blackburn College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While traditional on-campus graduation activities were canceled, Blackburn College celebrated the class of 2020 with its first Virtual Commencement Ceremony and 151st Commencement exercise overall. Students' achievements were recognized with individual slides that graduates were able to personalize with photos and video messages using a custom Blackburn cap and gown Snapchat filter.
Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville, IL. One of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, Blackburn has the only student-managed Work Program in the nation providing an opportunity to develop critical skills and build a resume along with their degrees. In September 2019, U.S. News & World Report recognized Blackburn College as one of the top 10 best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Nation for Social Mobility.