Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera spoke from an empty McCamish Pavilion, where the commencement was previously scheduled. Cabrera, like other faculty members, praised the 3,800 graduates for their perseverance. He encouraged students to continue to rise through this challenge.
“Let’s own it,” he said. “Let’s embrace it.”
Georgia Tech had about 3,400 viewers at the peak of the ceremony. Parents and friends posted celebratory messages to students. There were, though, moments the audio was choppy or couldn’t be heard.
About a dozen new graduates were interviewed during the broadcast. Armand Raynor said he spent part of his time building a human-sized robot. Zoie Konneker, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, spoke of how the reporting team there became her family this year. Connor Hawley talked about how he missed hearing the loud whistle that blows at the top of each hour on campus. (It blew at the ceremony’s end.)
“That time is lost,” Hawley said of some of the things he missed.
Hawley and others did their best to be optimistic. They are, after all, now graduates.
“It’s not what we thought this commencement would be but here we are,” said Georgia Tech social media manager Brice Zimmerman, who hosted the ceremony.