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Final day of UK graduation weekend, honoring Classes of 2020 and 2021

UK Graduation.jpg
Posted at 3:35 PM, May 16, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky honored and celebrated the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 this weekend.

4,400 graduates participated across 10 commencement ceremonies from May 14 to May 16. About 1,000 of them are members of the class of 2020 whose in-person ceremony was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It almost doesn't feel real. It’s still setting in and it just feels good,” said Jason Murray who graduated with a B.A. in Business and Organizational Communications as part of the Class of 2020. “It’s a bittersweet moment and I’m excited for what’s next.”

Members of the class of 2020 participated in a Zoom celebration in 2020, but many told LEX 18 News they wanted the experience and honor of crossing the stage with their diplomas.

“I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, so I'm a little emotional,” said Sienna Douglas, who received a B.A. in Media Arts and Studies from UK. “When I got the notification that we were allowed to walk, I just got really excited.”

Kendra Stearns moved to Alabama after graduating in 2020, but she said she made special arrangements to make sure she could participate in commencement.

“I really wanted to walk over the stage with my [service] dog. She walked the stage with me at high school and I wanted to do college because she’s eight years old now and we probably won’t get another one,” Stearns said.

UK will be publishing full videos for each of their ceremonies in the upcoming days on their YouTube channel.