WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — While Wichita Falls normally sees a spike in traffic and visitation during the Midwestern State University graduation weekend, the novel coronavirus has caused rescheduled plans throughout the world, and with the weekend ending without the celebrations many planned for, new graduates share their thoughts about the weekend.
“It means a lot to graduate, but I do understand where MSU is coming from in their decision in order to keep the safety of the public at the forefront of the decision,” MSU graduate Matthew Mitchell said.
Many graduates share the sentiment about not getting to walk across the stage.
“I had all these expectations to have family and friends celebrate with me,” MSU graduate Sarah Glawe said. “But the fact that everybody’s being safe rather than getting sick is more important than anything else. It ends up okay; I’m just a little bit disappointed.”
After initially pushing the commencement ceremony back to Aug. 1, administrators offered May and August graduates to return for the December 2020 graduation, though some have said they may not attend.
“I don’t know if I could come back in December for graduation, so that’s a little bit of a bummer, that we’re not even gonna at least try,” MSU graduate Mica Schneider said.
“I’m hoping that I’ll have time to come back and walk the stage. However many months later but that would be actually if I could,” Glawe said.
But students going to graduate school, they know there is another graduation to come.
“I know that this isn’t my last graduation,” Mitchell said. “I know that in four years I do get to have another one. And for me at least I can kind of look forward to that.”
“At this point, if it really is virtual, there’s no reason for me to drive up and sit and watch it with friends,” MSU grad Elizabeth Cathcart said.
Even without a commencement, these graduates will never forget what MSU means to them.
“20, 30, 40 years down the line I know that I still will be able to call myself a Mustang,” Mitchell said. “I’ll be able to look back at my roots. Be proud of where I came from.”
“It just seems like everybody at MSU was super accommodating and super warm and inviting as far as wanting you to do well. And they just really pushed you to do well,” Glawe said.
“When people ask where you gonna graduate from I’m gonna say MSU and I’m gonna be proud of that,” Schneider said.
“Midwestern, it’s been fun,” Cathcart said.