KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rain or shine, UMKC graduates walked across the stage Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Some Roos have been waiting to celebrate this moment for an entire year – pushed back because of the pandemic.
The cap and gown are tradition on graduation day – and maybe even a champagne shower – but not buckets of rain, umbrellas, and ponchos.
“It was pouring when I first got here,” Graduate Bethany Gradwohl said.
“I saw people fleeing to their cars really fast because is started down pouring really hard,” Graduate Jacob Paszkiewicz said.
Still, the turn in weather didn’t stop students from turning their tassels and becoming graduates.
Douglas Lindsay used it as a teachable moment.
“I had to come today because I wanted to come for my son and for him to see this and share this with me and you never let anything stop you,” Lindsay said.
“I feel proud of him,” Son Isaac said about his dad, Lindsay.
UMKC Spokesperson John Martellaro said 2,300 graduates and their families celebrated the milestone at Kauffman Stadium.
One of four ceremonies was delayed because of rain, but only for 30 minutes.
“It really didn’t matter. It was a slight discomfort. The looks on those young people’s faces, the huge smiles,” Martellaro said. they were dancing, it was like a scene out of “Singing in the Rain”. It was just wonderful
He said several hundred who walked the stage were from the class of 2020.
They didn’t get to have a graduation last year because of the pandemic.
“College graduation is probably one of the biggest moments of your life. So, it sucked last year. We didn’t get to graduate, and we just saw our names on the screen,” Gradwohl said. “But it felt really good, even though it’s pouring rain, we were like well we’re still going to come out here and get that experience.”
“I felt more like I graduated than I did last year,” Paszkiewicz said.
Even through the rain, these Roos give the experience an A+.
“Luckily for me when I actually walked across the stage is stopped raining and the sun came out for a little bit,” Graduate Samiya Adamson said. “Then it started raining again and I felt so bad for the other graduates, but I was like I’m so glad that I got to walk the stage dry.” They handed out pandemic-friendly goodie bag with UMKC masks and shades. The graduates said their future looks bright.