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ISU's pandemic-era graduates can finally walk across the stage this week

College graduates at commencement
Around 12,000 students graduated from Iowa State University from May 2020 through August 2021. Not all were able to attend in-person ceremonies that were offered at the time.

Iowa State University graduates who didn’t get to attend their commencement in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic will get their chance to walk across the stage this Saturday.

Around 12,000 students graduated from ISU between May 2020 and August 2021, and they are eligible to participate. So far, 370 students have said they plan to attend, interim Assistant Registrar Abbie Suntken said.

"The number of students attending is much more intimate than our normal fall or spring ceremony," Suntken said. “We're only looking under 400 students attending this ceremony, where in the fall ceremony we have 1,500 to 2,000. In the spring, we usually have double that."

This weekend's ceremony will contain the traditional elements of a graduation, like the commencement address, Suntken said.

Suntken said many graduates are excited to finally have an in-person celebration.

"A lot of them thought they lost the opportunity, especially for some who this has been a dream to have parents and friends watch them walk across the stage and get their degree," she said.

All degree types and students from all six colleges will be represented, master's and doctorate recipients.

The ceremony will also be livestreamed.

Catherine Wheeler was Iowa Public Radio's All Things Considered host and a reporter from 2021 to 2023.