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FSU prepares for in-person graduations after virtual ceremonies in 2020

Posted at 11:36 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 23:36:48-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Graduates at Florida State University will finally get their chance to walk across the stage at The Donald L.Tucker Civic Center.

This comes after in-person graduations for 2020 were canceled because of COVID-19.

It's something everyone looks forward to when entering college.

"Going into this senior year of mine I was mentally prepared to most likely not have one," said Jamie Miyagawa, a graduating senior.

Miyagawa is talking about in-person graduation.

As part of the Florida State Class of 2021, she watched the class of 2020 celebrate their accomplishments online.

One year later, the Civic Center will play "Pomp and Circumstance" once again but things will look much different.

"Knowing that it'll be a safe environment for us to go through with the ceremony and not have to worry about if the people around me have been vaccinated if they're too close," Miyagawa said.

To make sure that doesn't happen, seats are 6-feet apart, the stage has Plexiglas barriers and social distancing markers are around the arena.

Safety measures that graduates say they appreciate.

"It can be kind of hard to navigate that and all the safety precautions you need to take so being able to separate that into different ceremonies over I think two weekends was a pretty good idea," said Steven Nissley Jr.

Nissley is one of many graduates who will cross the stage at FSU's first of 11 ceremonies.

The arena is able to hold 589 graduates total, with some on the floor, risers and stands.

Families like Nissley's are sitting in pods of four.

"Those people will be able to have that experience with you, which is the main point of going to the graduation ceremony," Nissley said.

Despite the changes, graduates say they are glad to celebrate safely.

"Our class has been through so much and we deserve to be celebrated and have that proper ceremony," said Miyagawa.

In addition to ceremonies this weekend, there will also be ceremonies on April 24 and 25.

To find out the dates and times you can click here.