CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Some graduates from TAMUCC’s Class of 2020 got the opportunity to participate in the school’s graduation ceremony today. Usually the school has a few graduation ceremonies a year, but those that did not participate in ceremonies last year were able to come back this year to celebrate.
Some students like Olivia Guzman graduated as a molecular biology major last year in December and didn’t get to attend a ceremony. She said now that she’s getting to participate in this ceremony, it’s helping her move on.
“I feel like it’s finally happening and I feel like I can put this chapter away and move on and walk away from it and feel some closure. It feels very good,” Guzman said.
Last year the College of Nursing had a drive through diploma parade. Alumni Katrina Piazzola is one of the 2020 alumni who participated in it and she said it was special, but she said as a first-generation college graduate, it was disappointing not being able to have a formal ceremony.
“Graduation is definitely a big moment in every student’s life, especially the family so it was definitely a bummer but I’m definitely grateful that I have this opportunity to graduate now knowing that most schools didn’t have it,” Piazzola said.
The school limited graduates to having six guests which could only attend if they had tickets. In past years graduates didn’t have a limit on how many guests they were allowed to bring.
The school said they had 2,700 graduates last year and wanted to include them in this year’s ceremony because it’s important to celebrate them.
“We wanted to take the time to celebrate those students for all their hard work. Those students have earned a degree and we wanted them to be here to celebrate them,” Dr. Clarenda Phillips, the school’s provost and vice president of academic affairs said.
The graduation ceremony brought back graduates like Zach Watson, who graduated last year, and currently lives in Houston.
“Its kind of cool to come back to Corpus because I live in Houston now…so to see the water….to see some of the friends that I don’t really get to see as much anymore and it’s kind of an honor to represent this great school,” Zach Watson said.
His mom, Cherstie Watson said she made him come to the ceremony because it was important to their family.
“To be able to come back and do this was really important to us and it was a very disappointing year last year,” Cherstie Watson said.