Rain doesn’t stop Georgia Southern graduates from attending in-person ceremony

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - More than 4,000 Georgia Southern students earned degrees this week.

This year, they had the chance to celebrate in person. After a year of pandemic protocols, some graduates said they were not going to let a little rain keep them from this milestone memory.

Umbrellas and ponchos covered the caps and gowns of graduates in Paulson Stadium. Georgia Southern announced earlier this year that Spring commencement would be in-person.

“I was so excited because, knowing that they didn’t get to graduate like this last year, it really made me think,” graduate Natalie Mincey said.

They’ve spread things over six ceremonies to allow more social distancing on the field and give families more space to sit in the stands and watch their graduate. It is just one adjustment in a school year full of adjustments.

“We’ve overcome. we have persevered. Here we are in a celebration for bestowing 4,200 degrees,” GSU President Dr. Kyle Marrero said.

Things certainly looked and sounded different. Grads picked up their own diploma cover. Staff scanned a code from each student rather than passing cards and a computer announced their name. None of that mattered to Mincey.

“It’s a blessing to be able to graduate because last year they couldn’t. So, it really is a blessing,” Mincey said.

The university will hold one more ceremony on Thursday.

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