School graduations begin at Columbia University

The first of Columbia University’s school-based ceremonies began at the Baker Athletics Complex in Inwood after the main commencement was canceled.

Edric Robinson

May 10, 2024, 9:45 PM

Updated 19 days ago

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The first of Columbia University’s school-based ceremonies began at the Baker Athletics Complex in Inwood after the main commencement was canceled.
“It was amazing, I’m so glad that it happened,” said Yvette Almonte Olivo, a graduate who received a degree in Insurance Management.
“Our Assistant Dean Zelon Crawford, she was exceptional. Shout out to Zelon, and it was just a wonderful event, even though it’s raining,” added Rashad H, a graduate in Sports Management.
The ceremony celebrated graduates of the School of Professional Studies. Following weeks of protests and unrest on campus, Columbia canceled its main commencement, maintaining security with a significant NYPD presence around the graduation venue. Inside, graduates reported no disruptions.
“It was nice, it was smooth, no trouble no anything so overall a nice graduation,” said Georges Sanchez, a graduate.
Despite safety concerns leading to only these smaller ceremonies, some graduates expressed disappointment.
“Yes I’m a little bit upset because I didn't get to have mine in 2020 because of the pandemic so I was hoping to be with the whole school, but other than that, to have my name called is a great privilege,” said Sanchez.
“I understand that there are a lot of things going on in the world today. That was a compromise that had to be made, so just being here being alive, having the presence of mine to know that we’re here, let's cherish this moment,” said Rashad H.
Cherishing the moment was what most said they truly cared about.
“I’m really proud of them and on a day like today nothing can dampen the spirits,” said Kyle Alvarez, who came to support his best friend Rashad.
“I’m glad these guys flew in from India, and it’s a great moment for them,” said Suswara Mullapaudi, a graduate in Sports Management,
The series of smaller school ceremonies will continue until next Thursday.


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