Liberty University begins graduation ceremonies after long year

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Liberty University commencement ceremonies are being held this week and many graduates say the socially distanced graduation was nothing compared to the anxiety leading up to the day itself.

Typically students start gearing up for graduation a year in advance.

According to Health Sciences graduate, Carly Dagg, “It was a little hard on me, especially because I had 21 credit hours this semester so it was a lot.”

Dagg was busy working extremely hard over the past few years to get an internship at one of the top forensic labs in her home state of Illinois.

“I was one out of 2000 people that was supposed to get it and I got it,” said Dagg. “I got it and two days later they took it away from me because of COVID.”

She missed out on football games and other events that seniors enjoy before departing. Dagg didn’t even think she’d graduate in person, but is glad her family was there to watch as she walked across the stage to receive her diploma.

“I was like oh no I have seven people in my family I don’t know how they’re all going to find a hotel room,” Dagg said.

Ashley Cobb, who received a master’s degree, had a different experience working all year in physical therapy and being a mom.

Cobb told WFXR News, “It was eye-opening to see that a pandemic, which I’ve never seen in my lifetime, could come in and shift the entire way we work.”

Her husband, Darius Cobb, says she was able to take care of their home and their two-year-old daughter while completing her degree on time, even with all the changes relating to the pandemic.

“It was tough but she got through it,” he said. “She was determined and her faith was strong, she had the mindset to succeed and that’s what she did.”

This year, Liberty University has over 28,000 residential and online students graduating in the class of 2021. They’re also welcoming back students from the class of 2020.

Some grads say they’re just relieved to be done with the school year.

“Great, it’s great, a lot of relief,” said Dagg. “I know that I made it and that my next steps are forward.”

“Of course with the help of God, I was able to come out on top today and be successful,” Cobb said.

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