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UNL hosts first in-person commencement since 2019 at Memorial Stadium

Posted at 10:08 AM, May 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-09 11:08:25-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Saturday graduates of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln were able to celebrate their achievements with their loved ones for the first time at Memorial Stadium and for the first time in person since the pandemic began.

After so much hard work, and a very abnormal final year, 3,924 Cornhuskers finally made it to graduation day.

“Lots of challenges along the way, little tears shed, lots of late-night studying," said Andriana Jacobs, a student-athlete who earned a degree in Journalism, Broadcasting and Physiology. "But it all just means so much, and I’ve had so much support from everyone.”

For the first time since before the pandemic began, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln was able to host a full, in-person commencement ceremony for the class — something Alese Sanders, who earned her degree in Forensic Science, had worried she’d miss.

“It’s something about being able to physically see like the work that you’ve been able to do like tangibly handed to you," Sanders said. "A lot of graduates over the past couple of semesters have, unfortunately, they had a commencement, but they weren't able to see that like physically handed to them."

The event also gave families the chance to celebrate their hard work while feeling at ease in the outdoor venue.

“Being able to be here, having them put it on the football field to keep it safe for everybody so we were outside and was absolutely wonderful to actually see it," said Christina Sanders who watched her youngest graduate on Saturday.

Now that the now alumni have made it to commencement, they say they’re ready for the challenge of entering a workforce that has definitely changed over the past year.

“So just kind of like not being able to physically go in and speak with people...the vibe has been a little bit different," said Sanders. "But overall, I’m definitely excited for sure.”

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