Temple University students graduate in backyard of Doylestown home

DOYLESTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Under the banner of creating a "plan b," Temple University's graduation was supposed to be Friday, so students are coming up with different ways to celebrate their accomplishments.

From the podium with the Temple "T" to balloons against the backdrop of the graduation processional, it wasn't the ceremony Angelica Van Houten thought she'd have to mark four years of hard work, but it was just as special.

"Having the ceremony with just my family was surreal and amazing and I was just so happy that I got to have something," said Van Houten.

The backyard of her Doylestown home is a stark contrast from the Liacouras Center.

A stay at home order has forced graduation ceremonies online.

"Today was actually supposed to be my graduation, it doesn't feel like I'm leaving the nest," said Brian Ortiz.

"I still wanted to decorate my cap," said Hannah McKinney.

McKinney plans to wear the decorated cap as she participates virtually from her living room on Thursday. She was set to speak at the College of Public Health's ceremony.

"It was so weird. I was recording it on Zoom and then they emailed it out and it was like-- that's my speech," she said.

"I definitely had to incorporate just how different this graduation ceremony is from other years and how it really won't take away from our achievements," added McKinney.

Traditional milestones and unconventional celebrations, graduates are trying to make the best of the moment.

"Honestly before they even thought to have it, I thought, 'Ughhh I'm not even happy about graduating. It feels like nothing,'" said Angelica. "Just to have this, it was like, now I'm excited, I'm happy, it feels real."


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