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Troy University holds commencement for Spring and Summer graduates

Troy Graduate Morgan Long walking across the stage during commencement.
Troy Graduate Morgan Long walking across the stage during commencement.(Nick Brooks)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 4:17 PM CDT
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TROY, Ala. (WTVY) --

A day that many Troy University students have been looking forward to for quite some time.

Commencement took place for both spring and summer graduates due to the pandemic pushing back spring commencement.

The influx of students resulted in several ceremonies throughout the day.

“Our main intent is to make sure we celebrate the students and this accomplishment,” said Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Mary Anne Templeton. “They have worked hard for years to receive their degree at every level, so we wanted to make sure to recognize them in some way. Our hope was to always have the graduations as we did today and that worked out.”

Six feet between each graduate and everyone allowed in the arena was required to wear a mask.

"That keeps us at about 300 students give or take at each ceremony which is the right number for us to be able to space everybody out safely," Templeton added.

In between the ceremonies, university employees were hard at work ensuring the next groups safety.

"We have a crew that is cleaning every surface that is touched essentially by audience or participants in the ceremony so they are cleaning all the audience seats, the student seats, the bathrooms, railings, door knobs - anything that would be considered a touched surface," Templeton explained.

Many who finished their classes back in spring were uncertain if they would get the chance to walk at all.

"As the time got on, and we got closer and we realized 'oh no graduation is going to be postponed' it was kind of disappointing," said Graduate and Former Troy SGA President Morgan Long.

Long has witnessed many Trojans walk across the stage now that it is his turn, there are many differences from past commencements.

“Typically, this arena is packed,” Long continued. “We’ve got people standing and sitting in the stairways, you can’t fit another chair on the floor, but it’s definitely a different experience than what we are custom to here at Troy.”

Despite the obstacles and changes, Long and so many others finally got their day that for many months could not be guaranteed. Now, he is looking towards the future.

"In January, I am going to the United States marine Officer school in Quantico, Virginia. I'll go there for 10 weeks in hopes of becoming a commissioned second lieutenant in the Marine Corps."

In the meantime, he will be doing something else to stay busy.

"Until then, I'll be in Birmingham substitute teaching most likely if schools open up."

We wish Morgan and his fellow graduates the best in their future endeavors.

Ceremonies were held at 9, 2 and 7 on Friday.

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