Families celebrate in Columbia despite canceled graduation ceremonies
COLUMBIA - After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person graduation ceremonies, students are earning their degrees through online celebrations.
For the Johnson family, this graduation weekend wasn’t anything close to what they expected. Makenzie Johnson is graduating with a bachelor's degree in Psychology, Spanish, and Art History.
“I was kind of disappointed. My great aunt was going to come from California and she actually called us a few days ago and said she was not coming for safety reasons,” Mackenzie Johnson said.
Her family said they know this incomplete ending is difficult for her.
“It’s like a period at the end of a sentence that you’ve been building for a long time,” said Mackenzie's dad Michael Johnson. “Now she doesn’t get that.”
But her family still made the trip from St. Louis to Columbia to celebrate her as if nothing changed.
“I think coming here and being together on this specific day just makes it feel more normal,” said her mom, Laura Johnson.
However, there’s still hope for in-person celebrations with her graduating class in the future. MU announced they hope to have a make-up ceremony at a later date.
"I'm a traditions person," Mackenzie said. "Having the option for a fall celebration would fulfill something for me that I wasn't able to get this spring."