UNR hosts commencement for 2020 graduates

UNR Graduation Ceremony held for 2020 graduates.
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 12:07 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A year ago Margarita Vargas Estrada, University of Nevada, Reno 2020 graduate, said she received the email that spring commencement was canceled due to COVID.

After receiving the news, she said she was in disbelief. The day she has always dreamed of was put on hold. Vargas Estrada said walking across the stage is a significant mark in her family’s history.

“My parents didn’t even go to middle school. They came here to this country with nothing and they were able to provide for me and I was able to get my degree,” Vargas Estrada said. “So it means a lot more to me than it does to some of my peers here today.”

On Thursday, Vargas Estrada became a part of Wolf Pack’s history. She was a part of the first-ever commencement to honor students in Mackay Stadium. She said being able to have a ceremony where her family and friends could watch her receive her diploma made all of her restless nights worthwhile.

“I was there by myself, no guidance from my parents or siblings, especially as a STEM major I really had to push myself,” she said.

Caitlin Mckinney, Graduation Coordinator said this has been long overdue.

“I personally was really happy to have this because last year it was definitely missing,” Mckinney said.

The stadium provided plenty of space for social distancing. Face coverings are required and each student can only invite four family members.

“Just such a good energy to have all the students together, to have their faculty here, to have their family and friends, and just to celebrate them,” Mckinney said.

For Vargas Estrada, it’s not just a simple walk, but it’s the laying of a path to allow upcoming generations to follow in her footsteps.

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