CINCINNATI — Two years after the pandemic began, students who were set to graduate in 2020, will finally get their ceremony in-person.

What You Need To Know

  • The University of Dayton's 2020 graduation ceremony was held completely virtual

  • The university brought back graduations in-person in 2021 with COVID restrictions 

  • This year it's not just 2022 graduates, but 2020 graduates will get a special in-person ceremony to celebrate their achievements. 

Chloe Voelker still has the cap and gown from when she was supposed to walk across the stage and accept her college degree in 2020.

“It was a celebration, but it was also not what you expected,” said Voelker.

Graduation day, as she had pictured it at the University of Dayton, didn’t quite happen that way.

“We had an online ceremony, so it was something to acknowledge the day that it was, but obviously a lot different than what we had imagined for four years and were looking towards,” said Voelker.   

She says graduating into the pandemic-stricken job market wasn’t what she thought either. 

“I know people who, if they didn’t have their offers taken away, they were pushed back for six months which became a year, people just had a really hard time finding a job, so I was really grateful to get to work,” said Voelker.

She ended up finding a job in her career field, as a consultant, but she says even that’s been different. 

“Never met a lot of my co-workers until months after, stepped into an office, so my whole working career has been online and virtual,” said Voelker.

Two years into her work-from-home career, she finally gets to go back in-person to walk across that stage in a special ceremony at the University of Dayton for 2020 graduates. She says for her, it's more like a reunion from her time in college during a pandemic. 

“I am thrilled just to have the chance to see and be on campus with everyone and kind of take that step back in time,” said Voelker.

The special graduation ceremony at the University of Dayton started at noon on Saturday, May 14.