Digital Exclusive: Penn State’s Class of 2021 reacts to in-person spring commencement plans

Top Stories

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Seniors at Penn State University received good news on Wednesday, as school officials announced they’re planning to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in the spring. 

“It will be a cool experience, especially to be able to go back into Beaver Stadium one more time, because we missed our football season,” said senior Juliette Mitrovich.

Mitrovich is a member of PSU’s graduating Class of 2021. Her upcoming graduation ceremony will be different than years past due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

“You can only have two guests. You have to sit with your guests in the stands at Beaver Stadium, we don’t get to walk across the stage, they’re just gonna scroll a video with everyone’s names and majors,” said Mitrovich.

School officials say virtual ways to attend graduation will be also be available. While the university is preparing to shift plans should circumstances surrounding the pandemic change, Mitrovich is looking forward to having her family present on her big day.

“I’m excited and just thankful that my parents get to come to State College and be here with me in-person kind-of-thing,” said Mitrovich.

Pat Mullery is one of the many students in Penn State’s Class of 2020 who didn’t get to experience a ceremony with friends and family in the stands. 

“When you’re graduating during that time, you’re celebrating it, and now that you’ve moved on like a year or two later, it’s a little different to go back instead of experiencing it in the moment,” said Mullery.

Mullery and the rest of his class may have the opportunity to commemorate their accomplishments soon, as university officials say a special weekend dedicated to 2020 graduates is in the works. 

“I’m really happy for the upcoming graduating class. I think people should be able to experience in-person ceremonies,” said Mullery.

University Park commencement ceremonies are set to take place May 7-9. Each Commonwealth Campus will host its own ceremony to honor their graduates. Everyone in attendance will be required to wear face masks and social distance. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories