WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue University held it's 2021 graduation commencement on May 15 for over 5,000 students inside Ross-Ade Arena. Graduates had their degrees conferred in front of thousands of family and friends in person for the first time since 2019.
Purdue University president Mitch Daniels arrived in style aboard the J-House Couch Cart before his commencement speech.
"You are leaving here ready for leadership," Daniels said to the graduates. "Your academic records say so. The history of Purdue graduates says so. The character you demonstrated this last year when your embrace of the Purdue pledge enabled this place to stay open at all clearly says so."
Among the thousands of graduates is Mariah Mendoza, who transferred to Purdue in her Junior year. She is graduating with a degree in political science and a minor in women's, gender and sexuality studies. By the end of the ceremony, she was pretty tired.
"I feel really excited and also really relieved," Mendoza said. "It's been a really long day and it's only 11 a.m."
Meanwhile, Fredrik Jensson-Knowdell is having his second collegiate graduation. This time, for an MBA.
"It's great, there's a lot of excitement in the air and I can feel it, it's very palpable," Jensson-Knowdell said. "It's awesome, like it never gets old, it never gets tiring. Maybe I'll go for a phd so I can do it a third time... no, I'm not."