CSULB College of Engineering Classes of 2020, 2021 graduate at Angel Stadium

Students from the College of Engineering at Cal State Long Beach were celebrated at the first of seven graduation ceremonies for the classes of 2020 and 2021 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim Friday morning.

Students from both classes were honored as the class of 2020 was only able to graduate virtually due to last year’s coronavirus restrictions.

“I have deep admiration for our 2020 grads, whose academic lives were changed in the course of a few days last spring,” said President Jane Conoley as she addressed the audience. “And for our 2021 grads, who have not seen each other for over 14 months and have accomplished what may have seemed impossible just a year ago, you have tenaciously held onto your dreams.”

With smiles graduates walk out of Angel Stadium after the Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering in Anaheim Friday, May 28, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The ceremony was certainly unlike previous ones, with graduates and guests socially distanced around the stadium. Graduates did not walk across the stage to individually receive their diplomas, but instead were able to pose on various mini stages throughout the parking lot before the ceremony as their names were announced.

Graduates were limited to two guest tickets each, that could only be used by in-state guests.

Hunter Ly, a 2020 graduate, said that it was still exciting to celebrate a year later.

“I’m doing this mostly for my family,” he said. “I wouldn’t be here without them. And I feel like this is for them to celebrate with me. Because for my actual graduation, I did not do anything. And for them, this is like, one of the biggest events in my life. So I want them to be here and also celebrating.”

Hunter Ly has his halo in place as he attends the Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering at Angel Stadium in Anaheim Friday, May 28, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Katherine Villa, a class of 2021 graduate in chemical engineering, said that adjusting to online classes was a challenge.

“It definitely took a next level commitment to stay and push through the Zoom and through all my important classes, not being able to see our professors and dedicate more time to actually learn the material when you’re not physically there in person,” she said. “But I mean, perseverance pushed through. It was difficult, but exciting, and I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I’m done and excited for the future.”

Villa is excited to take a break for the next couple months and then begin the job hunt, she said.

Jessy Vu, a graduate of 2021, said he also found adjusting to online classes to be difficult, but is optimistic about the future. Now that he has graduated, he hopes to “hopefully, find a job that I love, and I’m happy with. Just live my life, pretty much.”

A graduate chats on her phone as she makes her way through the crowd before entering Angel Stadium at Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Graduate walk through the isles of Angel Stadium before the start of Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Manuel Castro-Mirafuentes gets his photo taken while at one of the many mini-stages around the outside of Angel Stadium at Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The shadow of a graduate as she walks down from the mini-stages around the outside of Angel Stadium at Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Graduates march into Angel Stadium as parents look from the stands at Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Cal State University Long Beach officials march to the stage in the middle of Angel Stadium during the commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

A graduate looks up to the second seating to look for family or friends at Angel Stadium before the start of Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Graduates walk through the tunnel after the end of Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Graduates walk out of the tunnel into Angel Stadium before Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The family of Katherine Villa surrounds her as they photo before the start of Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The family of Jessy Vu takes photos of him as he stands on one of the many mini stages at Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Graduates march into Angel Stadium for Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Graduates stand for Cal State University Long Beach alma mater at Angel Stadium at the university’s commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

With a construction helmet, a graduate walks through the tunnel after the end of Cal State University Long Beach commencement for graduates from the class of 2020 and 2021 from the College of Engineering. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

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