GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University’s Outdoor Commencement Ceremony was canceled Friday, the university said, due to severe weather and unsafe conditions.
But that did not stop graduates like Courtney Murphy from enjoying her day.
“We are still going to graduate a little rain never scared anyone away,” said Murphy.
She has waited her whole life to get her college diploma.
“It’s disappointing but I like seeing everyone that was here, is exciting to see everyone wanted to come out and celebrate with us,” said Murphy.
UNC-system President Margaret Spellings still delivered her keynote address, albeit virtually.
One family said despite an empty stadium, it was still a memorable day.
“It was a group effort, so I just wanted to make sure everyone was still able to come,” said ECU graduate Nicholas Purvis.
Purvis said he owes that group effort to his mom and dad.
“I know for myself and a lot of other graduates, we probably wouldn’t be here without the help of parents or friends or anybody else in our support group,” said Nicholas Purvis.
HIs parents, Tinger and Stanley Purvis, said rain or shine it is meant to be.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to know that the legacy lives on,” said Tinger Purvis. “We both graduated from here, had great success with our careers, and we are just happy that our son decided to do the same.”
Nursing graduate Jamie Callihan said graduating was the most important thing.
“I pictured it to be sunny and beautiful and we would probably get our tan on but we are gonna deal with the rain,” said nursing graduate Jamie Callihan.
The friends say Pirates can face any storm, and graduation day is bigger than cap and gowns.
“We worked our butts off to get here and just really going into the work field after this so I think this means more to us than hearing a ceremony or something like that,” added Callihan.
Individual college, school and departmental recognition ceremonies – scheduled across campus inside buildings – will be held as planned.
A complete listing of recognition ceremonies and any updates can be found at ecu.edu/commencement.