Purdue student shares virtual graduation experience

Since announcing in March that in-person ceremonies would not take place due to COVID-19, Purdue is making strides to create a memorable experience for the Class of 2020. News 18 spoke with a student who shares what it was like to walk across the stage virtually.

Posted: May 17, 2020 8:02 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—Eesha Patel was one of hundreds of students who celebrated her graduation virtually.

"Initially I was thinking it wasn't going to end up super well," said Patel.

Although Patel had no idea what she was in store for. It turned out to be a better experience than she thought it'd be.

"I am beyond ecstatic at the amount of time Purdue put into making that virtual ceremony," said Patel. "Giving us the commencement box, sending our diplomas in."

While Purdue did as much as possible to make the moment special, Patel did as much as she could by decorating her living room, dressing up in her cap and gown and inviting her mom all the way from San Jose, California to share this special moment with.

"For my mom to be here and just share this experience, she's been like the biggest support in my entire life," said Patel. "This moment without her would not even be worth it."

Her mom was just as excited and grateful that she could be a part of this experience during this time.

"It was awesome," said Patel. "I cannot thank Purdue enough. The way they planned it and made it so surreal, that's awesome."

Patel received a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial management. Celebrating her success wasn't the only thing she looked forward to. Earlier in the year she was nominated to speak in front of her division at graduation.

"It was the best getting that call and being able to represent my class that way I couldn't ask for anything else," said Patel.

She said while it was exciting being able to give a speech, her message was one she truly wanted to convey.

"Even though this is a really rough time it doesn't mean we can't see the good in it. So I talk a lot about moments in between milestones, said Patel. "It's kind of nice to see that there's some moments and some things that go beyond just being there physically and that you can feel that love even though you are away from each other."

Eesha is going back home to San Jose, California to spend time with family before starting her new job as a Financial Analyst for Microsoft in Seattle, Washington.

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