Spring and Summer Pitt State grads finally walk across the stage

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PITTSBURG, Kan. (KODE) — Pittsburg State University held a walk thru commencement for graduates and their families.

Graduates are happy to begin their next chapter.

Ian Duncan, PSU graduate said, “It’s really exciting. It’s been a long journey here at Pitt State.”

Duncan moved to Minnesota for a job and traveled more than 500 miles to attend Saturday’s ceremony.

“It feels like I can say I actually graduated because my diploma was sent to my dad’s house. So I never actually have seen my diploma, so this actually makes me feel like I accomplished something instead of it feeling like another semester ended,” said Duncan.

PSU held three ceremonies Saturday for hundreds of Spring and Summer graduates. They had to cancel earlier commencements as a precaution during the pandemic.

Dr. Steve Scott, President of Pittsburg State University said, “We love doing commencements. The faculty and staff. It’s extremely important to us, for the family, and graduates, it’s even more important. And you really see that as we had to cancel the May ceremony. Very disappointed students and families, we recognize that.”

The university took extra precautions by limiting the number of family members attending and having families walk with students through the ceremony. PSU faculty even did an alternative to the traditional handshake.

“I decided in March I wouldn’t be shaking hands, so I’ve done a lot of what I like to call it. The ‘Gorilla Bump.’ Some of the students gave me a big smile as we did the bump. They get it and I think that makes everyone feel more comfortable,” said Scott.

Graduates left with their families after receiving their diploma and getting their picture taken.

Ashleigh Marquardt, PSU graduate said, “It feels really good to finally be able to walk and feel like this was finalized.”

The walk-thru was a way to limit guests since there was no seating for graduates or their families.

“Once a Gorilla, always a Gorilla,” Marquardt said.

PSU is already planning on May 2021 commencement.

The University said it will be similar to the one they held on Saturday.

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