Charleston Southern University hosting first in-person graduation in over a year

VIDEO: CSU hosting its first in-person graduation since before pandemic

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston Southern University is holding its first in-person commencement ceremonies since 2019.

There will be two separate graduation ceremonies this weekend.

The Class of 2020 will graduate on Friday after only having a virtual ceremony last year. The school says about 150 students from the Class of 2020 plan to walk on Friday night.

More than 500 students from the Class of 2021 then plan to walk in-person Saturday.

For the first time ever, both graduations will take place on Buccaneer Field at Whitfield Stadium.

“I think it’s kind of cool being on your college campus to get to graduate,” Senior Elementary Education major Samantha Madak said. “But, definitely the coliseum would allow more people to come. Like I know I’ve been able to go to graduations in past years and see friend’s graduate. So, I mean I do miss out on that part, but it is cool to be able to graduate on the actual campus where you spent four years.”

Each student received two guest tickets, meaning they had to cut out some potential guests. However, Senior Biology major Gabriella Zapata says she’s just happy to actually have a ceremony.

“It was very easy for me to say just my parents because they were the ones who financially and emotionally supported me throughout these four years,” Zapata said.

Madak says just her parents will be in attendance as well. She says she has other family in town, who plan to watch online and then celebrate with her after.

You can watch live streams of both ceremonies at the college’s website.

CSU says guests without a ticket can also watch the livestream on a big stream on campus. They have overflow seating at Lightsey Chapel and Whitfield Center for Christian Leadership.

All graduation attendees are required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing throughout the stadium and football field.

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