TCU is preparing an official send-off for the Class of 2020 after a year filled with delays and postponements due to COVID-19.
The university announced earlier this spring that a ‘make up’ graduation for the class of 2020 will be held in person in Amon G. Carter Stadium on May 7.
Those who plan on coming back are happy to have the opportunity to return to campus and walk the stage.
“I’m grateful 2020 graduates are able to experience commencement,” said Morgan McBride. who earned a degree in communications and child development. “We put a lot into our four years at TCU and deserve the experience graduates have had prior to COVID.”
The ability to walk for graduation is not only important to McBride, but for her entire family.
“I’m coming back for commencement because I want my hard work to be recognized. More importantly, my family deserves this celebration,” she said. “I’m the first child of six to graduate from college, so this is a family affair. Every family member had become a TCU fan during my time there, and they wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Mary Elizabeth Monroe, who earned a degree in news and media studies, said that in-person graduation meant a lot to her family as well.
“In-person graduation was important to me because I am the first grandchild to graduate and I wanted my grandparents to be able to see me graduate,” Monroe said.
Monroe is unable to attend the make up commencement due to conflicting commitments.
“I am still disappointed that I can’t make in-person graduation,” Monroe said. “But since it has been close to a year since I actually graduated, I’m not as disappointed as I was the first time.”
COVID-19 forced last year’s graduation to take place virtually, but the ceremony was unsatisfactory to students and faculty.
Olivia Moody, journalism degree alumni, was disappointed in the virtual graduation hosted by TCU.
“Virtual graduation was extremely disappointing,” Moody said. “The class of 2020 got zero closure on our years at TCU.”
Dominic Tovani, who earned his degree in film, television and digital media, echoed Moody.
“Virtual graduation was very disappointing, I didn’t even watch it,” Tovani said. “I am happy about grads getting to come back for a graduation celebration because I know a lot of people still wanted to walk, but at this point, I am over it. I won’t be walking.”
A new stage
Those who don’t plan on returning said they are at new stages in their lives.
“In-person graduation is crucial. I won’t be coming back to walk this year,” Moody said. “I feel like I have already moved on to the next phase of my life. I also do not want to take away from the class of 2021.”
Matt Mayer, marketing major and finance minor, also made the decision not to participate.
“Personally, I will not be walking this coming spring with the 2021 graduates,” Mayer said. “Many of my former classmates I have spoken to feel as though it is not truly a 2020 graduate ceremony and therefore will not be walking.”
Although a makeup commencement is taking place, COVID-19 still places restrictions on students and their families.
“Personally, my decision not to walk this coming spring is partly family traveling logistics with COVID-19, but also the shared feeling that this ceremony does not feel personal,” Mayer said.
More information on graduation can be found here.