WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Graduates at Midwestern State University are getting a chance to walk the stage in front of family and friends after one of the most unusual school years on record.
Even with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, graduates say they just felt lucky to have this opportunity. Especially, considering last year’s commencement, like so many others, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adapting to change has been a prerequisite for the class of 2021.
“All of the classes went online and so when you are with history it’s a lot of reading and a lot of interaction with the professor so when that shifts to virtual and professors aren’t necessarily used to that format, it’s difficult,” graduate Joseph Ysasi said.
Especially for master’s in history graduate Joshua Ysasi who says he feels grateful to have his family in attendance on such a special day.
“Beyond just the pandemic, my dad died in November and he always planned on being here to see this happen. So, fortunately, I do have my wife, and my mom, and kids who are going to be here. But I’m really the first one in my family to get a master’s degree and keep goin’,” Ysasi said.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year for MSU students. All of whom were forced out of the classroom and online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A change that masters in HR training graduate Chris Dewbre says took some time to get used to.
“It’s been kind of difficult since everything is online. I’m a teacher too so everything is online, or it was. Now that we’re back, it’s just been very difficult,” Dewbre said.
But having reached the end of the tunnel, Ysasi says he hopes he can be an example for others.
“Hopefully it can inspire cousins, other relatives, that it’s possible to keep going. It’s possible if the desire is there,” Ysasi said.
A desire alive and well inside the D.L. Ligon Coliseum at MSU this weekend.
While family and friends are welcome at the undergraduate ceremony at the MPEC tomorrow morning at 10, seats are limited.
Also, no live band will be present. A music track featuring all of the classic pomp and circumstance will be played over the loudspeaker.