SU Welcomes Back Class of 2020 Graduates
By Nicole Aponte
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Class of 2020 started their return to Syracuse University on Friday, September 17th. This is the first time they have returned to campus in over a year and a half. The University promised an in-person graduation, and 2020 graduates will celebrate their accomplishments on Sunday, September 19th at 10 A.M. in the Carrier Dome.
For alumna Ally Heath, she is just happy to see her classmates once again. “As COVID got worse, we didn’t even know it was going to happen.” Ally said. “So, it’s just great to be back to start to see folks I haven’t seen in a year and a half and some even longer.”
The Spring of 2020 brought with it a lot of uncertainty. Syracuse University students who were seniors at the time had no idea if they had the chance to return to campus. Gabrielle Caraciollo said, “Until this week I didn’t really feel like this was going to happen. “So just getting on the plane today and getting to see my best friend – I haven’t seen her in a year and a half – and being back in Syracuse, it’s just amazing.”
With graduates and their families returning to campus, the University reminds everyone attending to be aware of the COVID-19 restrictions in place. Both Onondaga County and SU are currently in the Red Zone which means that masks are required both indoors and outdoors regardless of vaccination status.
The Dome is also requiring proof of full vaccination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test at check in. For Kerri Mcanneny, it doesn’t matter what COVID restrictions she has to follow. She’s just happy to see her friends again. “I’ll follow any rules to get here to hang out with my friends.” Kerri also has the chance to see her family. “I get to see my family because they’re in Pennsylvania and I’m in Iowa right now.”
Having an in-person commencement ceremony helps to remind everyone what it means to be orange. Conor Wight is looking forward to the in-person commencement. “The really strong friends that we went through an entire four years together,” Conor said. “it sort of got cut off very abruptly so it sort of puts a nice bow on things.”
The Carrier Dome is to open up at 8 A.M for first-come, first serve seating. The commencement is to start at 10 A.M., with New York Governor Kathy Hochul as the commencement speaker. The commencement is to be live streamed at https://commencement.syr.edu/.