BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Following two years of virtual or outdoor ceremonies, Hoosiers graduating from Indiana University this weekend will now be able to walk across the stage with friends and family by their side.
In 2020, all graduation ceremonies across IU were held virtually. The following year, in 2021, Hoosiers did have the opportunity to walk across the stage, but all ceremonies were held outdoors and limited to the graduates and faculty participants only.
“It was great just being able to look up in the stands and have my family there,” said Kelsey Deklerk, a graduate who just received her doctorate in education.
Deklerk said she and her family traveled in from out-of-state. She was joined by her mother, husband and her two young daughters.
“They’ve been through this journey with me and they’ve been sitting on my lap the whole time I’ve been studying so I’m glad that they were able to participate and be here,” said Deklerk.
“My uncle and aunt were able to come, my sister was able to come, my friend was able to come all the way from Kansas City,” said Aderinsola Adesida, a graduate student who just received her masters in cybersecurity risk management. “I’m very glad that they were here and that there were people for me in the audience.”
Meanwhile, more guests in the crowd means more business for local bars and restaurants along Kirkwood Avenue.
“We call it organized chaos. We’ll have lots of organized chaos these next two days,” said Ed Schwartzman, owner of BuffaLouie’s in Bloomington. “On a weekend like this, certainly this will be one of our busiest days of the year.”
Schwartzman said it is all-hands-on-deck during graduation season which requires more staff to be scheduled this weekend. He said he is glad to hear campus is inching closer to pre-pandemic normal.
“This whole business revolves around service and fun, and wearing masks and dropping things off curbside ain’t fun,” said Schwartzman. “And now we’re back to having fun and fun’s good. It’s really good.”
Both IU Bloomington and IUPUI’s ceremonies will be streamed live at broadcast.iu.edu.