Area universities prepare for 2021 graduation ceremonies

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Tayler Bass is a 2020 Indiana State University graduate She said after not being able to attend commencement in person last year due to the pandemic,

She was pleased to hear that the university decided to allow in person ceremonies for 2021.

“With the way that things were left with college and graduating. It just kind of felt like an unclosed chapter,” Bass explained. “So this ceremony is kind of just like it’s an ending to something that I feel like I never really got. It’s a way to truly say goodbye.”

More than 2,000 graduates and their 4 guests will gather at Hulman Center to participate in one of four in person ceremonies.

ISU communications director, Mark Alesia, said celebrating in person was something the university began working toward at the beginning of the year.

“Our president said she wanted an in person ceremony. Now of course we’re going to take all of the necessary precautions and we have but that was the goal from the beginning,” he said. “We were going to have an in person commencement and if we had to pivot then we would pivot. But we haven’t had to do that.”

However down at Vincennes University, graduates will celebrate virtually for this year’s commencement.

Bethany Alvey, a 2021 graduate, said she was sad to hear the news but she’s remaining optimistic.

“I was looking forward to my family getting to come and celebrate with me because honestly I never had plans on going back to school. I was kind of sad but now we’ve got a lot going on with our family. My sister just had major brain surgery and we’re all helping take care of her,” Alvey noted. “So it’s ok. It’ll be exciting to watch it and I can be with her and she can watch it with us.”

VU plans to have 4 different ceremonies with unique speakers for all of their campuses across the area.

Vincennes University president, Chuck Johnson, said although it was a difficult decision to make he hopes graduates will still make memories.

“It’s not the same. But we hope it has the same celebratory tone and we hope it’s still something that people can cherish and remember going forward. I hope they can look back with more of a warm feeling about what they’ve accomplished even though they weren’t able to celebrate in a traditional manner,” he said.

Alvey and Bass said they’re just happy to celebrate the end of this chapter.

“It’ll be exciting to see what they put together because VU, they’re awesome. They always go above and beyond for us students. Even when things aren’t the most ideal, they still make the best out of it,” Alvey concluded.

“It’s not just a big moment for you. It’s a big moment for everybody around you. College is a very tough thing and not everyone can do it. So when you do it, it’s a big moment for you. You’ve proved to yourself that you can do it,” said Bass.

Ivy Tech also hosted their in-person graduation ceremonies on Wednesday night at Hulman Center.

Lea Anne Crooks, Ivy Tech Chancellor, said she was excited to celebrate students after being apart.

“I just can’t wait to see the smiles and to be at the ceremony and hear the families cheer for them when they’re name is announced. After this long period of not being together in large spaces is just something that I can’t wait to hear,” Crooks said.

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