Island University to Celebrate Graduates of 2020, Spring 2021 in Special In-Person Ceremonies

By Darrell J. Pehr | Published: May 07, 2021

Island University to Celebrate Graduates of 2020, Spring 2021 in Special In-Person Ceremonies

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – After having to postpone commencement ceremonies for the past three semesters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will hold in-person commencement ceremonies for 2020 and spring 2021 graduates on Saturday, May 15, at the American Bank Center.

“Gathering as a community to acknowledge the achievements of our students as they complete their degrees is a treasured function of our university,” said TAMU-CC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Clarenda Phillips. “We are excited about the opportunity to finally honor our Islander graduates in-person for their resilience and perseverance during a global pandemic and social injustice. We continue to see our Islanders demonstrate what it means to be Islander Strong and have an Islander Impact. We are so excited to honor these students.”

For students who were not able to attend their own ceremonies in person during 2020, the 2021 commencement ceremony has a deeper meaning.

“Commencement is the final celebration you get to have on campus and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments with your friends, professors, mentors, and family,” said Sarina Garcia ’20, who received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. “Not being able to have this moment in a traditional format when I graduated was disheartening – in all honesty, I don’t think graduating has felt real yet! I’m so thankful we can gather in a modified ceremony this semester and am excited to celebrate this milestone with my Islander family, many of whom I haven't seen physically in over a year. I can’t wait to walk the stage at the American Bank Center wearing my lei and regalia – all symbols of my collegiate experience – and begin my next chapter as an Islander Forever!”

Nicole Powers, a Ph.D. graduate in marine biology in the College of Science and Engineering, feels a great sense of appreciation for what she has accomplished at the Island University.

“I am very excited to be graduating this semester!” Powers said. She was chosen by the Provost’s Office as an Outstanding Graduate for spring 2021. “This is an incredible milestone and it’s wonderful to see my hard work from the past five years pay off. Although I never expected to be graduating during the middle of a pandemic, I’m grateful that I have been able to safely finish my degree. I’m excited to continue to the next chapter and pursue a postdoctoral research position.”

Additional spring 2021 Outstanding Graduates include Mariah Ramon, College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Barret Flaminio, College of Liberal Arts; and Megan Dodd, College of Business.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi President and CEO Kelly M. Miller said celebrating student accomplishments helps put these important milestones into context.

“We are so proud of our Islander graduates, especially those that persevered and completed their degrees during a global pandemic,” she said. “Their commitment to lifelong learning and being true leaders is what being an Islander is all about.”

The 9 a.m. ceremony May 15 includes the spring 2021 graduates of the colleges of Education and Human Development, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Science and Engineering. A 1:30 p.m. ceremony includes the spring 2021 graduates of the colleges of Business, Liberal Arts, and University College. A 5 p.m. ceremony includes 2020 graduates from all six academic colleges.

Special steps will be taken to ensure the safety of all participants and visitors. Seating will be spaced out with guests socially distant from other guests. Masks will be required for all guests and sanitizing stations will be provided. The facility will be fully cleaned and sanitized between ceremonies. A concession app will be provided to shorten lines at the concession stands. Guests will be able to order from their seats and pick up when ready at a designated stand with shorter lines.

This year’s ceremonies will be modified and follow an abbreviated format. Each graduate will have the opportunity to cross the graduation stage, be recognized individually as their name is announced, and have a photograph taken.

The ceremony is open to the 1,269 graduates who RSVP’d and each student is allowed a maximum of six ticketed guests. Ticket distribution information is available at https://commencement.tamucc.edu/tickets.html.

For those who cannot attend, the ceremony will be live streamed at tamucc.edu. For more information, visit commencement.tamucc.edu