Engaged couple Terrance Thomas and Chidera Obasih pose for a photo before the ceremony begins. Thomas finished an information science technology degree in 2021 and Obasih graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration in May 2020. They said getting to finally celebrate is rewarding, not only for them but for their families who supported them. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
UWM Chancellor Mark Mone congratulates and celebrates the 2020 and 2021 graduates in his speech, saying how fortunate he feels to be involved in the event. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
Chia Youyee Vang, vice chancellor of diversity, equity and inclusion, said she hopes for the graduates to go into the world with a burning fire to be change agents in whatever they choose to do. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
A doctoral graduate receives her hood as her son watches. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
Telashay Swope-Farr, School of Education doctoral graduate, celebrates finally crossing the stage. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
John Riordan, a 74-year-old Lubar grad who already holds several degrees, finished his bucket list by graduating with a Master of Science in taxation. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
UWM 2020 and 2021 engineering graduates cheer when their school is called and recognized. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
A graduate and their mentor embrace. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
Jacob Beay, who graduated with bachelor’s degree focused in economics, walks the stage. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
College of Nursing graduate Zuleyka Albiter shows off her diploma after walking the stage. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
Proud family and friends cheer and clap for the graduates when the ceremony concludes. (UWM Photo/Elora Hennessey)
Three classes of graduates finally got to do something that the pandemic stole from them – walking across the stage at the UWM Panther Arena and basking in the joy and pride of their families, friends and peers.
About 750 students who graduated in 2020 and May 2021 could only have commencement virtually because of pandemic restrictions. But in a special recognition ceremony April 10, they gathered in person to celebrate with all the usual pomp and circumstance.
Chancellor Mark Mone noted how special the occasion was.
“What it comes down to is this day, it comes down to this opportunity to celebrate and recognize the culmination of all of that hard work,” Mone said. “We always wanted to be able to do something more. We’re very fortunate to be able to plan this and put this together.”