Virtual graduation doesn’t mean any less celebration for Virginia Tech’s Class of 2020

Normally, thousands come to Blacksburg to celebrate the graduates

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It’s graduation day for Virginia Tech!

Unlike the graduates before them, instead of jumping up and down to “Enter Sandman” in Lane Stadium, the Class of 2020 will spend their last moments as Hokies watching a virtual commencement on Friday night.

Many of them found time to reunite with their closest friends on campus before the big moment.

On Friday morning, it seemed like every senior made their way back to Blacksburg.

One of the graduates’ parents jokingly said that Hokies had to take a number to get their spot on the steps of Burruss Hall.

The campus is beaming with life again, even if life did not go as expected for these grads.

Erin O’Connor still can’t believe it’s time for her to leave Virginia Tech.

“It’s crazy. Even just looking back at freshman year pictures, it doesn’t seem that long ago,” said O’Connor.

This is more than just a graduation celebration, it’s a homecoming for the seniors who have spent their last semester learning through computer screens.

“It’s been so rewarding just to come back and see everyone else so happy to be here. I don’t know, it’s just awesome to come back,” said O’Connor.

The significant spots on campus, Burruss Hall and the Pylons, became picturesque backdrops for these seniors’ swan song.

Some grads, like Tyler Neeble, still went to Lane for old time’s sake.

“I enjoyed the football games so much. I enjoyed sitting on the North Side and the East Side. It was so much fun, and I’m here to experience it again,” said Neeble.

These pictures provided the pomp as graduates adjusted to the circumstances of their commencement.

The road through Tech may have taken a socially-distanced detour at the end; however, it’s just a footnote in the Class of 2020′s fast, fantastic voyage.

“I think we’ve come to terms with it as much as we can. It is nice to see everyone making the most of it," O’Connor.

“It is a little weird with all of the circumstances going on, but it’s just a pleasure to wear the cap and gown right now,” said Neeble, who’s in a very unique position with graduation.

He’s going to graduate with his master’s in civil engineering next year and said he can’t wait to graduate in Lane when it’s time.

Click here to watch the Class of 2020′s virtual commencement.

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