SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — More than a year later, the University of Rhode Island’s Class of 2020 celebrated their graduation in person Friday night.
The graduation ceremony was originally scheduled for May 2020, but the pandemic forced the university to hold a virtual celebration instead.
It’s a moment that hundreds of students have been waiting for, according to URI President Marc Parlange.
“It was fantastic, the energy,” he said. “I’m really glad they all came back, they really needed this moment.”
Brian Reich was in the stands as his daughter Sydney walked across the stage and received her diploma.
“It was awesome and inspiring for all of us,” Reich said. “Through everything that we have all had to deal with, patience has gotten us here.”
Dozens of out-of-state students returned to URI for the ceremony, including Destiney Palacios.
“It’s worth it because this is an opportunity not only for us, but also for our families,” she said. “A lot of us are first generation, so it means a lot for us to be able to celebrate this.”
This weekend also happens to be alumni weekend at URI, so many families plan on sticking around through Sunday.