Molloy College commencement invites guests to 'drive-in' viewing

Due to the pandemic, so many schools and colleges had to cancel in-person graduation ceremonies last year and even this year. A college on Long Island adapted to the circumstances and is holding a hybrid ceremony on campus.

After a challenging year of virtual learning, Alexandra Liguori didn't know if she'd ever walk across the stage at graduation. But here she was on Tuesday, graduating with her master's degree in accounting from Molloy College.

"It was definitely tough because all school was online and it was a barrier on Zoom — who didn't have Internet connection, who couldn't meet because they were working," Liguori said. "But we made it happen and I'm really excited."

As graduates walked across the stage in a nearly empty auditorium, their family, friends, and loved ones watched a livestream on big screens while sitting in their cars in the parking lot of the campus in Rockville Centre. For Tiana Abhay and her mom Sophie, a drive-in graduation is better than no graduation.

"I'm happy we were able to have an in-person-ish graduation because we didn't think we were going to have one and they did a really good job," Tiana Abhay said.

"However the graduation is going to happen, the meaning is that she graduated and that's the biggest pride that a parent can have," said Sophie Abhay.

Like everyone else taking the stage, MBA graduate Destinee Plummer said a lot of curveballs were thrown at her this year but she's grateful for her health and for the opportunity to share this day with her peers.

"A lot of us were able to grow in a different way during this pandemic so for me, I feel blessed, I'm happy," Plummer said. "Although it's different, I wouldn't say it's bad. It's just different."

Graduation ceremonies for the different majors are being spread out over two days on campus. In all, after a year of virtual classes, more than 1,300 Molloy graduates are walking across the stage to get their diplomas in person this week.

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