College of St. Rose holds in-person graduation ceremony at TU Center

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Dressed in their decorated caps and gowns, grad students at the College of St. Rose on Friday, had an in-person graduation ceremony at the Times Union Center—- the first graduation held there since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s definitely great,” explained Amanda Esposito, an education major. “I know that was a big thing I wanted, was to be able to walk across that stage and have that moment, so for them to be able to this tonight is really awesome.”

As soon as graduation guidelines were released by New York State, the College of St. Rose went to work, planning how the ceremony would take place in a safe way.

” In order to enter into the Times Union Center, everyone had to be able to show a negative COVID test or they had to show their vaccination card to show that they are fully vaccinated at this point,” explained Jen Richardson, Assistant Vice President for student development.

All graduates sat 6 feet apart from one another and were allowed up to 4 guests.

“It’s breathtaking for me, especially that they are live streaming it, so the people who can’t be here with me tonight, are still with me. It really makes a difference,” said Carly Morstatt, an education major.

After countless hours of studying and having to adapt to virtual learning, tonight’s graduates said the hardship being a student during this pandemic will help them in the long run.

“As students we were learning how it felt, but also as future educators, we know how students felt,” said Sarina Biski, an education major. “We know how the teachers felt. So, I really think this was an unbelievable experience that we will be able to take into our future classrooms.”

For the College of St. Rose Class of 2020, they too will finally get a chance to walk across the stage at the Times Union Center. A ceremony for them will be taking place tomorrow afternoon.

NEWS10 ABC