SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Members of the class of 2021 at Savannah State University made their way across the stage at Tiger Arena Friday.
The university is holding three in-person ceremonies for the nearly 400 spring graduates. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Chatham County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chester Ellis are the 198th annual commencement speakers.
Liberal arts, social sciences, business administration and education students were honored Friday. The College of Sciences and Technology will walk the stage Saturday at 9 a.m., where Warnock is set to speak again.
Ellis addressed 179 of the graduates during Friday morning’s commencement.
“I urge all of you that are sitting here before me today to start planning now — today is the day to start planning. So I stand, and I say, set your goals, plan your work, and work your plan,” the chairman said.
Each student was allowed to invite a maximum of five guests in order to comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Students and guests were required to wear masks and socially distance during the event.
Immediately following the ceremony, graduates were met by their families outside Tiger Arena with hugs and well-wishes. Moments that no one will be taking for granted any longer.
Last year at the start of the pandemic, Savannah State shifted the spring 2020 graduation ceremonies online.
“When I finished my undergrad, it was virtual and we only had a slideshow,” said graduate Makayla Martin.
“I’m just glad they gave us a chance to walk and invite our family members, and we were the first class to say we that we did it through a pandemic,” added Martin.
The events are being livestreamed online at savannahstate.edu/commencement.