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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

University of Memphis graduates finally walk the commencement stage

"Now, I'm walking. I'm a graduate now. I can wear my chords. It's a really good feeling," said Kayla Hall.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — They celebration was delayed, but not denied. 

It was an exciting day for some University of Memphis students as they finally got the chance to have a commencement ceremony.

Local 24 News was there to speak with some of the graduates as they made the final step in their educational journey. 

"I didn't ever think this day was going to come," said Kayla Hall, University of Memphis graduate. 

Hall graduated from the University of Memphis May 2020. 

Due to the pandemic, she, like many others, could not have a formal graduation. 

"I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to be able to walk," said Hall. 

Just because you've accepted it, doesn't mean it can't still happen. 

UofM held a special commencement for its graduating students. 

"Now, I'm walking. I'm a graduate now. I can wear my chords. It's a really good feeling," said Hall. 

"I'm so happy because I was upset that we didn't get to have a formal graduation. I graduated from nursing school, so you know that's long journey. I'm happy to finally be able to actually walk and commemorate this event," said Megan Williams, another UofM graduate.

Credit: WATN

It's a commemoration many are grateful for especially after some had to turn to virtual learning. 

"Probably the biggest challenge with virtual learning is just not having that community, just not being able to be on campus and kind of enjoy the feel of campus. I was just able to stay at home and do everything from my computer," said Ashley Nicole Turner, a graduate.

"I feel like it's going to mean a lot in the future looking back at this moment to say I was here and I accomplished something even through one of the worse crises in the past 100-years," said Brian Hodge, UofM graduate.

It's an accomplishment these students encourage others to fight for despite any odds.

"Don't let it be something that you look back on and you feel was the worst thing that happened to you. Let it be something that built you," said Turner.