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SEMO class of 2020 walks before family, friends

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CAPE GIRARDEAU (WSIL) -- Students at Southeast Missouri State University celebrated commencement as two ceremonies took place Saturday at the Show Me Center.

While originally scheduled for December, the college moved it up to coincide with the end of the in-person semester.

One of the students to walk across the stage is Rylie Bequette who says the graduation is unique like many things in 2020 since there's still some work to ahead.

"It's kind of weird because we still have to go to online classes after this," explains Bequette, who received a Masters of Business Administration. "But, it's still really cool, to be able to say, 'I'm done,' at this point."

Other Students like Ryan Stovall say this accomplishment means the world to him since he worked hard to get good grades after not doing so well his first year of college.

"Honestly when I started, I thought this day would never come," remarks Stovall, who received a Bachelors in Marketing Management. "I remember looking at my degree record, (from) freshman to senior year; zero percent, and just slowly seeing it progress, it's a great feeling."

Those inside the venue were spread out with assigned seating, and the ceremonies were also live streamed, so family and friends could watch from home.

Jacob Graves, who received a Bachelors in Corporate Communications, says he feels lucky his parents could there in-person to see his accomplishments.

"My mom and my dad were here today, it was great for them to see me walk, " the graduate explains. "It was a great experience."

Last weekend, two other ceremonies were held for Spring and Summer graduates who had their ceremonies canceled.

Altogether, 2,324 graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Joe Rehana

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