BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s a celebratory and emotional day — one that family members say is that much better because they were able to see their loved ones graduate in person.
The Jacobs School of Medicine ceremony normally takes place indoors at the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts. But of course, this whole past year has been anything but normal, so today, that coveted ceremony took place outdoors at UB Stadium.
This is the first of UB’s many graduations, and this one felt particularly fitting, as these young adults who have studied science and medicine completed their degrees while in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic. And many of them will go on to continue fighting it.
Family and friends are thrilled to have been able to watch these students get their degrees.
“Very excited. It’s hard to even just see family. So, just very excited. Very excited,” said George Samuels who was attending his daughter’s graduation.
“You know, we all want to celebrate and have a good time, and to have it in person, there’s nothing like it. It feels as close to normal as possible,” added Jason Greenwood, who attended his girlfriend’s graduation.
Nearly all of Friday’s speakers noted how unique this class’s experiences have been.
180 students wearing masks graduated on the field at UB Stadium. Those in the bleachers also had to wear their masks, and the handful of people News 4 spoke to said they felt it was worth it to be able to experience this occasion together.
9,000 more UB students will earn their degrees over the next 16 days. The university expects around two-thirds of them to participate in their ceremonies.
Erica Brecher is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.