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2020 Graduates Return To MU For In-Person Commencement

Approximately 1,500 MU students who graduated in 2020 were able to return for an in-person commencement over the weekend. Every student was allocated six tickets for friends and family to join in the celebration.

The act of rescheduling the commencement was no easy task. News Bureau Director Christian Basi said university staff had to work around the clock to analyze the safest way to conduct the event while giving it a “traditional Mizzou feeling.”

“Those conversations never stopped. They involved dozens of staff throughout the university working every day to determine… How do we make this happen?” Basi said.

Graduates were also able to participate in the ceremonial Tiger Prowl, the tradition where students run through the columns and receive a graduation beer. To combat COVID-19 regulations, students received sealed canned beers instead of Alumni Association members filling cups from a tap. Graduates were also put in groups to run through the column every 20 minutes instead of all at once.

2020 Mizzou law graduate Anthony Ealy Jr. was able to return for the commencement. During his time at Mizzou, Ealy was on the National Black Law Students Association Board.

“It felt really good. I got to come back. I did not see all of my classmates, but I did get to see about 10 of them. I had the chance to have conversations and catch up. I also saw my dean and her hair grew out a lot. It was a good feeling,” Ealy said.

He says he was actually relieved that the graduation ceremonies were postponed and Mizzou went online.

“I had time to go back home and re-focus on everything,” Ealy said. Ealy was focusing on his classwork and preparation for the bar.

He is now an Attorney at Blake & Uhlig P.A.