The breeze rejuvenated as it passed through the masked students in the warm May evening while graduates congregated outside Bulldog Stadium ahead of commencement. For many, this was among the first gatherings in the 14 months since the quarantine lockdown. One squinted to recognize masked friends and colleagues in the bright sun after months of looking at each other in small square boxes on the computer screen.
As students formed lines in preparation for the procession, some broke the rules (just a little bit) to take pictures and celebrate the momentous occasion. Students had decorated many of the grad caps with flowers, photos of loved ones, famous quotes and messages of love to those who supported them. It was truly an inspiration.
Because COVID-19 caused the cancellation of the 2020 commencement, this ceremony honored both the class of 2020 and 2021. The College of Arts and Humanities and the Jordan College of Agriculture commencements were combined into a single ceremony on Saturday, May 15, 2021. Due to social distancing restrictions, there was limited seating for audience members. However, the event was streamed online.
You can watch the entire ceremony here (video begins at 5:58):