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Grads and Families Celebrate at Diploma Ceremonies

The first diploma ceremonies of Commencement 2021 shared many traditions with previous ceremonies. Academic robes were donned over formal outfits, Keating Hall was draped in ceremonial bunting, and just before graduates processed onto Edwards Parade, the Victory Bell rang out to announce the start of the ceremonies, which began on May 17.

But there were signs of a world in flux. Undergraduates were invited to these smaller Rose Hill ceremonies to accept their diplomas in person before the main Commencement, which will be videocast on Saturday, May 22. Commemorative masks were handed out—making it easy to meet the mask requirement in effect on campus through Tuesday; on Wednesday the mandate was lifted in outdoor settings in accordance with state guidelines. Students processed directly across the Keating Terrace to their seats, while pairs of socially distanced chairs dotted Edwards Parade.

The sense of joy and relief was palpable, nonetheless. Many students were returning to campus for the first time after over a year of remote learning, and for parents, the experience was doubly emotional, having watched their children not only finish their college career, but having done it in the midst of unprecedented upheaval.

At the first ceremony for Fordham College at Rose Hill on Monday, Dean Maura Mast, Ph.D., set the tone. “Today is special for many reasons,” she said. “Definitely because you’re graduating, but also because you’re coming home.”

For more information on Commencement events, visit the Commencement webpage.



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