Pitt-Greensburg Celebrates Commencements In Person

After a long and stressful year, University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg hosted three in-person commencement ceremonies as a way to celebrate the class of 2021. KDKA's Bryant Reed has the story.

Video Transcript

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- After a long and challenging year for students, seniors are definitely ready to cross the stage and enter a new chapter. Unlike last year's online ceremonies, Bryant Reed shows us how some schools are having in-person commencement.

BRYANT REED: --had online graduation ceremonies last year. But this year, they were able to pull it off safely in person by having three different graduation ceremonies throughout the course of the day.

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The culmination of a mentally tough and strenuous year has come for this group of Pitt-Greensburg seniors. Graduation.

JACOB SNYDER: Just knowing that the staff and everybody here made such an effort to have a graduation. They even opened it up to the students to vote on whether or not it would be outside or inside. And this is what the student body voted for. So this is why we have the graduation you see here today.

BRYANT REED: Last year's ceremony was a scramble after COVID-19. The school ended up showing students' faces on a slideshow that they had to watch through a computer screen. President Bob Gregerson says they were determined to give students the celebration they earned.

BOB GREGERSON: And these students persevered. They were determined. They overcame those obstacles. And today, we're going to celebrate that.

BRYANT REED: The school split up graduation for the class of 2020 into three separate ceremonies by major. Each student was allowed to bring two guests. But students say it was important for them to still be able to celebrate and turn their tassels safely with family and classmates by their side.

KIARA DEVORE: This school has such a sense of community and pride with its students. And so being able to celebrate that with my fellow students actually in person was much, much better than anything that I could have imagined months ago.

BRYANT REED: Of course, Pitt-Greensburg isn't the only school trying to get back to traditional ways. But Gregerson says he hopes their ceremonies can be an example to other schools about how to celebrate the students safely. In Greensburg, I'm Bryant Reed, KDKA News.