One couple, Anzel and Bryce Hall, were married last May and traveled back from New Jersey, where Bryce, formerly a star cornerback for the UVA football team, is now with the New York Jets.
“Being able to come back, be with our friends and walk the Lawn, which is such a tradition, is an important moment, even though we have our degrees,” Anzel Hall said.
Other graduates, like Abigail Copley, Catherine Strawley and Alexis Kaiser, had remained in Charlottesville and were welcoming friends back. Copley earned her master’s degree in the School of Education and Human Development, Strawley completed a master’s in public health, and Kaiser was celebrating her graduation from the School of Nursing, having already worked for a year as a nurse at UVA Health.
“It felt really important to come and celebrate,” Copley said, noting that the trio were also finding ways to virtually include friends who had not been able to return.
“I am really ready for that symbolic feeling of closure,” said Education School graduate Tommy Farrier. Beside him, fellow graduate Regina Garrett said a certain relative of hers was very excited for the day.
“My grandma made me [come back],” Garrett joked. Garrett traveled with her grandmother from Dallas and was excited to see her in the stadium.