Augustana class of 2020 graduates cross the stage one year later

Updated: May. 23, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Illinois (KWQC) - 252 graduates from Augustana’s class of 2020 finally crossed the stage on Sunday after the pandemic forced a virtual graduation last May.

“They had such an interesting end to their senior year and the time has come now for them to be reunited, to celebrate, the be proud of themselves,” says Kirby Stockwell, Social Media and Public Relations Specialist at Augustana.

The 10 a.m. ceremony for 2020 graduates was held at the TaxSlayer Center. Graduates were excited to participate in the in-person event and share the moment with family and friends.

“My family, we are first-generation immigrants and I’m the last daughter that’s going to graduate and it feels like a fulfillment of legacy and a fulfillment of promise so I’m really glad to be able to share that with my family. It felt powerful to be surrounded by my community and for them to look at me and me to look at them and recognize that we are not where we were a year ago. For better or for worse we are here now and we are still standing and I’m happy,” says Thea Gonzales, a 2020 graduate.

“Seeing our parents, they have been wanting to see us cross the stage for a long time and so it was a really special moment. Now that we are here the wait was worth it,” Emmalee Pentek, a 2020 graduate says.

Graduates were socially distanced and required to wear a mask. Each graduate received six guest tickets.

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