Michigan State began in-person commencement ceremonies for the graduating class of spring 2021 Friday morning.
Due to COVID-19, the over 50 undergraduate graduation ceremonies for respective colleges and majors are being held outside in four different parking lots around the MSU campus and will take place throughout the weekend. In non-pandemic years, there are usually 20 college and university graduation ceremonies.
The commencement ceremonies will be held in the Breslin Center parking lot, the Spartan Stadium parking lot, the MSU Auditorium parking lot and the parking lot outside of Erickson Hall.
Even though there was a steady downpour throughout the morning commencement ceremonies, students were ecstatic that they could celebrate their accomplishments in person after spending the final two and a half semesters of their college career learning online.
Students gathered to celebrate with fellow classmates, their families and faculty to receive their diplomas in a socially distanced celebration of finishing their undergraduate degrees.
Costa Gianiodis was one of the students in the rain waiting for his diploma to mark the end of his time as a finance student at MSU. Despite the less than ideal weather, Gianiodis said he enjoyed being able to see his friends again and celebrate their accomplishments together.
“It was good," Gianiodis said. "You know, it was nice they got to put it on in person, although the weather wasn't exactly cooperative. ... But it was cool. It was awesome to see all my friends in-person after being online for so long.”
Gianiodis said that the Eli Broad College of Business did a good job at preparing the event and communicating with students to make it run as smoothly as possible.
“For doing it in person, they really made an effort to set them all up, get people tickets, and stuff like that, and make sure everything ran smoothly,” Gianiodis said. “And I think it really did. So it's kudos to them for giving us one last kind of send-off and, you know, moment to be in-person before we left the school.”
Cheri Speier-Pero, the associate dean of the Broad College of Business, agreed that the ceremonies so far have gone on without a hitch yet and said she is very happy with being able to have in-person commencement ceremonies for the students.