Thousands of USF graduates come together for in-person commencement

Nearly 3,000 graduates from the University of South Florida came together for the 123rd commencement.

Instead of the ceremony being inside USF’s basketball arena, it was held at Tropicana Field so graduates and families in the stands could be safely distanced from one another.

"It feels, unexplainable," said Jeremy Mendoza, who is earning his Bachelor’s degree. "I am the first in my family to graduate, a little emotional about it, but I'm excited to be here."

Some of the graduates say this year has been extremely challenging because of virtual learning.

"Especially when you're a science major, you have labs, you have a lot of things that are usually in-person, on hand, it was a disconnect for a while, but I got through it, I had to rely on some friends, virtual friends, but it worked out and I'm graduating," Dawn Taylor said.

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Unlike normal graduation ceremonies, graduates stood up when they heard their name and when it was projected on a screen; instead of walking across the stage.

"I'm like, really grateful they were able to work it out because just seeing my name on a screen online, that might not have been the best thing, so I'm glad I'm here to celebrate with my friends and my family," said Ryan Austin.


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