GCU students who graduated amid COVID-19 pandemic finally get to enjoy a commencement ceremony

After a hard year, Grand Canyon University graduates are finally walking the stage and receiving their diplomas, thanks to a makeup commencement that is being held for online students.

The event is for students who graduated in 2020 and 2021, and many of the graduates say they are just exited and relieved to get the recognition they deserve.

"It feels amazing. I did a virtual last year. We had a party, but we didn’t feel the same, so now it feels more real," said Jessica Miller.

For these students, this commencement ceremony did not come easy, as large events like graduations stopped when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

This mother of two from california - was supposed to graduate last year with her doctorate degree.

"My regalia came in the mail, and a week later, the world shut down, so I mailed it back," said Dewetha Lynn Phillips, a California mother of two who was supposed to graduate in 2020 with a doctorate degree. "Then, Grand Canyon [University] reached out to us and invited us, the Class of 2020, to be here now, so I’m so excited."

To make up for lost time, GCU will hold seven commencements on Mondays, from Sept. 20 to Nov. 15.

"These are mid-career professionals who are raising families, building their careers, going back for additional education degrees, masters, doctors. They put so much into this. They love his graduation, and all last year we couldn't do it," said GCU President Brian Mueller.

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