STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Inside Humphrey Coliseum, thousands of Mississippi State students officially became alumni of the university on Thursday.
Distand Standifer was one of the 2,900 students to walk across the stage a graduate of Mississippi State.
Special education student graduates from Mississippi State University on April 29. 2021.
“Honestly, it was one of the hardest semesters I ever had, well year in generally, especially being a senior,” he said.
With the pandemic in full swing during their senior year, students learned a new normal with socially distanced classrooms and continually wearing masks.
However, that difficulty did not go unnoticed by staff.
“We’ve gone through all of these changes and still these students have not only finished the course but a surprising number of them have done so with honors or with highest honors,” said MSU chief communications officer Sid Salter.
To keep everyone safe during the ceremony, all attendees wore masks when in the Hump.
For this ceremony, students were allowed four guests to see the celebration.
No matter the restrictions, Danielle Belli said she's just glad to have a ceremony.
“It means a lot," said Belli. "I went to a junior college before I got here and I decided not to walk there because I knew I was going to walk here and I was really nervous that I wouldn’t get to walk because of COVID but I’m just super thankful that we get to do that.”
Two more commencement ceremonies will be held on Friday.