‘You made history’: Charleston Southern honors Class of 2020 with first in-person graduation ceremony in 2 years

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Charleston Southern University (CSU) is honoring their classes of 2020 and 2021 graduates with in-person commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had graduation on Buccaneer Field. We are so excited to be able to host an in-person event after 2 years — it’s crazy!” says Jenna Johnson from CSU.

The Class of 2020 was able to not able participate in an in-person graduation ceremony because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. They held virtual graduation last July.

During the virtual ceremony CSU President Dr. Dondi Constin said, “This is just a place holder. This is a down payment on the opportunity that you will have to return to campus.”

The school says about 150 graduates were able to participate in the in-person ceremony on Friday afternoon. About 500 students from the Class of 2021 are expected to walk across the stage on Saturday.

One of those students is senior choir member Erin Van Eck. The music education major says this will be her last official college performance.

Erin Van Eck, Class of 2021

“I actually get to conduct my own piece today which is really cool and I have a couple of my other music education majors conducting pieces today so that’s really special,” she says.

The CSU Choir and CSU Wind Ensemble performed at Friday’s ceremony. Van Eck says this is one of the few in-person performances she’s been able to do in the last 2 years.

“Especially with music, you know, singing is a pretty big way of spreading air particles. We’ve had to adjust a lot of the things we’ve been doing, but I think it’s made us stronger as choir and as a music community,” she says.

Saturday’s ceremony for the Class of 2021 will begin at 6:00 on Buccaneer Field. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines are encouraged. For more details, click here.

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