Texas A&M University-San Antonio hosted fall 2021 graduates and their friends and family Dec. 18 and 19 in three commencement ceremonies.
Despite rain and wind on both days, graduates like Valerie Barrera, who received a bachelors of science in psychology, were thankful for the university’s attempts to accommodate guests.
“(Commencement) feels more personal being here on campus instead of at the AT&T Center,” Barrera said. “It’s quicker and not as long so it was really good.”
The College of Education & Human Development commencement and the College of Business commencement were held Dec. 18. The College of Arts & Sciences was held Dec. 19.
Each commencement was held in the auditorium, open only to graduates. Each graduate crossed the stage and was allowed 10 guests.
Guests watched on a livestream and cheered from various spaces on campus, including a large tent near the recreational field. For those unable to attend, all three ceremonies were livestreamed and are available on YouTube.
The father of Jessica Faur, who graduated with a bachelor’s in marketing, said he was pleased with the ceremony.
“(The university) did really well,” Faur, who watched the ceremony from inside facilities said. “The broadcast was good… (Jessica) is our first daughter to graduate from college so we’re really excited for her future.”
Opening remarks of each ceremony were delivered by Vijay Golla, vice provost for research and graduate studies.
Rohan Christie-David, dean of the college of business, was unable to attend Dec. 18’s ceremony because of illness. President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson was also absent from all ceremonies because of illness.
“… Our university President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson can’t be here today due to illness,” Golla said in opening remarks . “While this was quite a disappointment for her, we know that now is the time to be cautious and protective of the health of our fellow community members.”
After closing remarks, the recessional was performed by Mariachi Damas de Jalisco. Due to bad weather, the mariachis were unable to perform on stage for the College of Education & Human Development commencement and instead performed outside under the tents afterwards.
Graduates were then able to take photos around campus, including General the Jaguar.
Ninfa Vela, who graduated with a bachelors in business administration in management, took photos with her family in the cafeteria. She said the past couple of semesters made crossing the stage more meaningful.
“Besides the pandemic, I lost some family members and some became terminally ill so that was challenging,” Vela said. “These became the most significant semesters because they allowed me to reaffirm the importance of resilience and perseverance.”
Going forward, Vela is moving out of San Antonio but is interested in the online opportunity for a master’s in business administration available at the university in fall 2022.