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Keystone's Class of 2020 returns to campus

An in-person graduation ceremony was held on Sunday - a year and a half after students graduated.

LA PLUME, Pa. — All the pomp you could hope for under unprecedented circumstances. 

"We promised them that when the time was right, and the environment was right, we would be able to bring them back," said Tracy Brundage, Keystone College President.

Keystone College president Tracy Brundage didn't think it would take this long to hold commencement for members of the Class of 2020.

"It gives me such great pleasure to say, 'welcome back to Keystone.'"

"I have to tell you I got pretty emotional up there because these students have been through so much. Their whole worlds were really impacted. Everybody was disrupted as a result of this, and we're all trying to find our way back," said Brundage. 

It was only fitting, the students said, that their long-awaited commencement ceremony was held on the college's campus near Factoryville during homecoming weekend. 

The class had about 250 members; only 60 or so made it to the postponed ceremony. The students received their degrees virtually in May of 2020, but nothing compares to the real thing. 

"It's crazy to think that last May, I was sitting in my living room watching a video commencement ceremony with my family. Now, just to see them, just now to be here, get the chance to walk up on stage, receive this degree, it's an awesome feeling," said Colin Franko of Tunkhannock. 

It puts a cap on the end of their college experience that's not marked by COVID-19 and focuses on their accomplishments.

That feeling can never be too late. 

"It's pretty indescribable, honestly. I'm just honored that they were able to have it here. I think it's really special that it's also on campus because this is where we lived some of the best years of our life. So, it's really important that we had the opportunity. I know not everyone had the chance to have in-person, so this is really special," said Daphne Leenas, a graduate. 

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