GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – After a year of uncertainty due to COVID-19, East Carolina University held its in-person fall graduation ceremonies on Friday, celebrating the class of 2021. One ceremony took place at 9 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m.
Families and friends traveled from all over to cheer on nearly 2,000 students that graduated from ECU. It was the first indoor graduation ceremony held at the university since before the pandemic. It was also the first time in ECU’s history the university has held two separate commencement fall ceremonies.
Minges Coliseum’s Williams Arena was full of proud faces as students were finally able to be escorted into Pomp and Circumstances and turn their tassels during the 113th fall commencement.
“This day is just a great day. I can’t believe I’m graduating. I did it in three and a half years. It was hard, but I did it,” said Venus Jimenez, a public health graduate.
The 9 a.m. ceremony included the College of Business, College of Fine Arts and Communication, and Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. The 1 p.m. ceremony included the College of Allied Health Sciences, Brody School of Medicine, College of Engineering and Technology, College of Health and Human Performance, and College of Nursing.
“I’m extremely proud of my son, Kenneth Roach who’s graduating today from exercise science kinesiology major, and I’m just really proud of him,” said parent Deanna Roach.
This was also the first fall commencement since Chancellor Philip Rogers took office. He was announced as the 12th chancellor a year ago.
“It’s been a long journey going through college with COVID and all,” said Troy Shuck, an engineering graduate. “I started at a community college. I’m from New Jersey, so I transferred here.
“It’s been a long journey for sure. I’m really excited for it to finally be over and I can start working.”
“It’s bittersweet I also went to community college and transferred in so it’s been a long time coming and I feel like it came fast all at the same time,” said Ryan Mizelle, also an engineering graduate.