BETHLEHEM, Pa. - On Saturday, Moravian College gave its graduates a ceremony one year in the making.
"We never forgot about our promise to you, that we would provide you with an on-campus graduation. So here we are today,” Moravian College President Bryon Grigsby said.
The college welcomed back nearly 250 graduates from the class of 2020 so they could finally experience the walk across the stage, a right of passage for students like Maci Kendrick.
"We must remember, that not many other classes had to rise to the challenge of meeting resilience, regardless of what they have lost. So I stead of believing that we are the class that can be defined by the pandemic, we must believe we are the class that rose above it,” Kendrick said.
Like countless students around the world, the end of Kendrick's academic career was turned upside down during that now infamous week last March when the nation went into lockdown.
"The safety net of our last few weeks on campus were briskly stripped away and the culmination of the most formidable years of our adult lives were reduced to online lectures from our childhood bedrooms,” she added.
Meanwhile at Penn State Lehigh Valley earlier in the day, the campus held its first in-person graduation in more than a year.
"This is such an amazing day. The opportunity for our graduates and their families to celebrate in-person after such a long time of being in quarantine is an amazing experience,” Tina Richardson, Penn State Lehigh Valley, said.
The graduating class of 2021 wore caps and gowns, and even Penn State branded face masks, to take part in a ceremony some worried would never happen.