HAYWARD (KPIX) — After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, students at Cal State University East Bay were finally able to enjoy the pomp and circumstance of graduation in person.
The last two years, graduates were relegated to self-service ceremonies. This year was a return to something like “normal”.
“I’m not the kind of person who really cares about these things. I did it for my mom,” said recent graduate Anthony Noriega.
“We’re looking forward to this, not just to celebrate his day and his accomplishments, but to be here together,” said Anthony’s mother, Vanessa Noriega.
The ceremony was a way to recognize the work done by the students to obtain their degrees.
“My senior year, I was able to do a student exchange program at a historically black university, and I graduated in the top 1 percent of my class, so I’m very proud of the work I did,” Kynnedi Hoyer said.
Graduating from college was something Kynnedi Hoyer’s mother couldn’t do. Mom and family couldn’t be happier for her achievement.
“He did it! He understood the task and he did it,” said Sinetta Stanford, Kynnedi’s mother.
Many of these students are not only the first to graduate, but also the first to attend college. Many made their way through school and devoted countless hours to their studies to make their parents proud.
The parents of Elva and Lizbeth Flores came to the United States hoping to give their children a better life.
“Last year, when we had graduation, my parents started crying… We felt proud,” said Elva and Lizbeth.
This year, Cal State East Bay will award more than 4,000 bachelor’s degrees and more than 1,100 master’s degrees.