RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– Virginia Commonwealth University is returning to a university-wide in-person commencement this weekend after COVID-19 halted ceremonies in 2020.

For graduating students, it’s the first time in two years that they can celebrate this milestone with the entire university in-person.

“I’m excited that it’s in person because my family can come, my whole family’s coming versus last year which would’ve been different,” said Seth Lyons, a theater major who will be walking across the stage this Saturday.

Lyons will be one of the 3,000 graduates honored during commencement.

The classes being recognized are not only from this year but also last year. This is the university’s first in-person commencement since Fall of 2019. VCU stopped in-person gathering in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“Especially now in COVID, we still have to mask up and we still have to be in specific areas for safety reasons,” Lyons said.

She said the university prepared them for the next step in life even though the pandemic changed students’ college experience.

“To finally wave the flag at the end of the journey. You know it’s been a long time,” Lyons said. “I’ve been in college for five years now and it just helped me grow and [understand] myself.”

The commencement will take place at the Siegel Center along West Broad Street, Saturday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m.