In-person graduation ceremonies return at UTRGV
A once familiar sight at The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley that had been missing for over a year returned Friday as the university held its first in-person graduation ceremony since the pandemic started.
For Jaquelin Contreras - a first generation college graduate - it was an experience she will never forget after attending school virtually. It’s a challenge she said she’s proven she can overcome.
"I am very happy that this is continuing to be life, in person for all the graduates to finally have a ceremony," Contreras said. “No matter what happens in this world, no matter if there's a virus going on we can become better people and make things possible for everyone."
For one graduate earning her Masters - the ceremony was a second chance.
"I can't believe that I missed my 2020 graduation for my Bachelors so being here for my Masters is absolutely speechless,” UTRGV graduate Chelsea Martinez said. “"The biggest struggle I had to go through was not being face to face with my professor especially, like everything was online, through email and through text."
Students said they hope they will never have to do again - but even if they do they know they can overcome it.
UTRGV staff said there will be a chance to recognize graduates who were unable to walk last year.
The UTRGV School of Medicine will also have a graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 8 at their Brownsville campus.