In this COVID-19 year, UCLA students return to campus for graduation

·2 min read
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 10: Sophia Bautista, 22, graduating with a degree in Political Science and Labor Studies is on crutches as she broke her foot in a skate boarding accident only days before as graduating UCLA students walk the stage in Drake Stadium while their names are announced with their image on a video monitor and pose for official photographs as they take part in a "Graduation Celebration." Up to 230 students per hour will participate in the graduate procession through Drake Stadium each day for six days with up to one student every 15 seconds. More than 9,000 students over six days starting Thursday before and after a virtual ceremony on Friday night, will walk through Drake Stadium with up to two guests to get the graduation experience of crossing a real stage as their names are read. Roughly 14,000 undergraduates and graduate students total are expected to receive their degrees from UCLA this year. UCLA on Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times).
Sophia Bautista, graduating with a degree in political science and labor studies, needs crutches after she broke her foot while skateboarding only days before her UCLA graduation. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

After being off campus the entire academic year, UCLA's class of 2021 got the rare chance to return — for graduation.

Although they had to have specific time slots, graduates got to walk through Drake Stadium with their names announced and image shown on a monitor, as part of a "Graduation Celebration."

More than 9,000 students over six days are expected to participate. Some 14,000 undergraduates and graduate students are expected to receive their degrees from UCLA this year.

Mother, Sukjoung Kwak and Father, Heesoon Kwak take photos of their daughter Ashley Ku, 23
Heesoon Kwak, right, and Suk Young Joung take photos of their daughter, Ashley Ku, wearing a hanbok, a traditional Korean celebratory dress, under her graduation robe. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Graduating with a degree in Communication Studies and Business/Economics, Maddie Park gives a thumbs up
Graduating with a degree in communication studies, and business and economics, Maddie Park gives a thumbs up to her parents, Richard and Stephanie Park. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Ziyan Wu, Yuying Wang, Ziqing Jiang and Mingze Li, left to right, hold their fingers together to form a heart
Ziyan Wu, left, Yuying Wang, Ziqing Jiang and Mingze Li hold their fingers together to form a heart for photographs at the UCLA graduation. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Kimberly Sanchez, 22, poses for photos holding her 6-month-old baby Alessandra Burnashkin
Kimberly Sanchez poses with her 6-month-old, Alessandra Burnashkin, while graduating with a degree in physiological science. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Paywand Baghal, graduating with a degree in Dance and Biology hugs his parents
Paywand Baghal, graduating with a degree in dance and biology, hugs his parents, Abdolvahab Baghal, right, and Ommekolson Mobasheri, after he walked the stage. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Yuying Wang, left, takes a selfie with Ziyan Wu as graduating UCLA students.
Yuying Wang, left, takes a selfie with Ziyan Wu as graduating UCLA students. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Graduating with a degree in biology and Chicana/o Studies, Jennifer Bribiesca waves to her family.
Graduating with a degree in biology and Chicana/o Studies, Jennifer Bribiesca waves to her family. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Graduating with a degree in Communication Studies and Business/Economics, Maddie Park waves
Maddie Park waves to her parents, Richard and Stephanie Park. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.