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CSU Monterey Bay holding first in-person commencement after two years

SEASIDE, Calif. (KION-TV)- Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on in-person commencement ceremonies at CSU Monterey Bay. But this weekend, the university is welcoming back that tradition.

It was a moment that some CSU Monterey Bay students felt would never
happen.

"There was a very long time where I genuinely thought it wasn't going to happen," said Ethan Quranta, who will be graduating this weekend.

"When you're in school, and they tell you there's a whole pandemic happening outside your window," said Amariz Lopez, who also be graduating this weekend, "You cannot imagine what the outcomes are. You cannot think about the tomorrow or the future because nothing is written yet."

But that moment is finally here. Both Quranta and Lopez feel a huge chapter in their life is coming to a close.

Quaranta was involved in student life at CSU MB. As an Environmental Studies major, he spent a lot of his college career at the Chapman Building. On Wednesday, he wrapped up his last final.

"The faculty member that this final is for is the first faculty member I met before I was even enrolled as a student here,' said Quranta. "Now, the faculty member for the last final I'm working on and turning in, it's just really special."

Amaris Lopez came to the US when she was 13-years-old. To her, graduating symbolizes all the obstacles she's overcome.

"For me, getting my BA is more than just a piece of paper," said Lopez. "It's a sign that I've been able to overcome any obstacles, and it's the start of a new chapter in my life."

CSU MB said there'd been excitement leading up to this weekend's commencement ceremonies.

"This is what we do," said Larry Samuels, the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. "This is the moment for us to come and have the crescendo for our annual of practice of instruction, research, and the like. Really turn it out into a celebration of the entire campus."

The university said it would be following Covid-19 guidelines and protocols.

University President Eduardo Ochoa will be giving his final commencement address at this weekend's graduation ceremonies.

Last month, the university also held graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 and 2021.

The university will have two outdoor ceremonies. One ceremony will happen on Friday and another on Saturday at CSUMB's renovated stadium.

This will be CSUMB's 26th commencement ceremony, and the college will be graduating  2,345 students.

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46

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