BANGOR, Maine — It might not have been an ideal day for an outdoor commencement Saturday, but at least Husson University's two ceremonies were held in person.
“This is our 122nd commencement as a University," President Robert Clark said. “I think the students' certainty deserve [this] kind of recognition.”
Saturday's morning ceremony was held for students who completed master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and graduate certificates. In the afternoon, it was the undergraduate's turn.
“It feels so wonderful, I’ve been working so hard to put myself through this health sciences program," Andrew Gumprecht said. “Everyone’s so excited today, we’ve all worked so hard.”
743 Eagle grads walked across the graduation stage at the Dr. John W. Winkin Sports Complex to collect more than 830 degrees. Last year's commencement was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It feels a lot better to grab that diploma and see your family in the stands is even better," Warren native Chelsea Ripley said.
“Obviously the class of 2020 didn’t, so we’re really thankful today that we got this," Kayla Brooks said.
Each graduate was able to invite two guests to their commencement. All students, faculty, staff, and guests were required to wear masks.
Wearing masks became normal for college students in Maine and around the country this year, marking a unique finish of their college experience.
“My classmates and I have juggled a lot this year, so I feel a lot of pride that we finished really strong," Hannah Steulce-Felder said.
“It feels good, it feels a little bit surreal being here," Rockport native Ben Willey added.
The surreal moment became a real one Saturday for Willey, his classmates, and the entire class of 2021.
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