FAMU students share the importance of in-person graduation experience

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 7:02 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Now that Florida A&M University has announced its plans to hold in-person graduation for the Spring 2021 semester, students are preparing to celebrate with family.

One graduating senior, Stephen Brooks who is receiving his bachelor’s from the School of Business and Industry, said his heart went out to the students from 2020 who didn’t have a traditional ceremony.

“You know they do their four to five years here and they waited for that moment to actually walk across that stage and actually receive their diploma so for it to be virtually and it just be a PowerPoint slide, and it goes by so fast. They really can’t live in the moment,” said Brooks.

When the announcement was made, he described the feeling as grateful, adding that he’d been hoping for this moment since last year.

“The fact that my family can fly in and watch their son walk across the stage, it’s a blessing,” he said.

Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Genyne H. Boston said the university will hold six graduation ceremonies over the course of three days.

“They will begin on Friday April 23- and end on Sunday April 25,” she said.

Students will be allowed four tickets for guests; faculty participation will be limited, and the events will be held at the stadium to allow proper social distance.

Boston said safety is the most important thing when it came to making this decision, extra staff will be hired to help with crowds and temperature stations will also be installed for the ceremony.

Charles Toliver said safety is important to him and his family, which is why he was planning to celebrate this accomplishment however the university saw fit. Now that he knows his family can physically watch him cross the stage, he said he’s overjoyed.

“Having them there is going to be ecstatic. It’s going to be amazing,” said Toliver.

Boston said an inclement weather plan will move the ceremony into the Al Lawson Center and Gaither gym if necessary.

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