EAST LANSING, Mich. — Friday kicked off graduation at Michigan State University, and one thing that students, staff and faculty can agree on is that after 2 years of the pandemic, it feels good to have a normal graduation ceremony again .
“I’m really excited. It’s a weird feeling to be graduating, but I am excited and also a little said… bittersweet,” said graduate Olivia Phaneuf.
Over 9,500 students will be graduating between Friday and Sunday, they’re all ready for their next chapters.
“I’m actually going to Chicago in a month to start an internship with TMC, super excited about that and hopefully it turns into a full time position,” said graduate Jake Serwa.
While all graduations are special, MSU officials said this one is extra special because it’s the first ceremony since the pandemic started where students, staff and faculty can all come together and celebrate.
In 2020, MSU’s Spring graduation was virtual, and in 2021, the spring graduation was broken up into smaller ceremonies.
“It just feels wonderful to be back and you can sense the enthusiasm about it across the campus,” said President Samuel Stanley.
Stanley said the decision to bring graduation back was well thought out and he hopes COVID-19 numbers stay down so future graduates can have the same experience.
“I think as a country, we’re coming through again, but I think Michigan state students deserve a high level of credit [with] how they've excelled through this difficult time,” Stanley said.
“It’s just great because they were able to go through adversity and come out of it with a smile,” said MSU Alum and former NBA player Steven Smith.