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2020 graduates from the Colleges of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, Education & Human Development, Science, and Engineering, as well as the Reynolds School of Journalism, the School of Medicine’s speech pathology program and the Orvis School of Nursing participate in one of eight University of Nevada, Reno commencement ceremonies this week inside Mackay Stadium in Reno on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)

When Nevada college students moved their classes to Zoom last March, they — like many others — did so with an expectation of a temporary inconvenience. 

A few weeks stretched into several months and eventually more than a year. Now, roughly 14 months later, that return to normalcy appeared a bit closer as thousands of students across Nevada’s seven degree-granting higher education institutions eschewed the virtual pomp and circumstance and were handed their certificates in the flesh. 

Things were still a bit different than the pre-pandemic “normal,” though. Most ceremonies were held outdoors in non-traditional venues including massive football stadiums where distancing, masking and other COVID-precautions could be more easily enforced, and certain limitations — such as the number of guests permitted per graduate — remained. 

But the week of commencement ceremonies both north and south provided the first tangible sign in more than a year that the college experience can return, even if a bit more waiting may be in store.

Continue scrolling to see a selection of photos from commencements at UNR and UNLV from Indy photographers David Calvert in Reno and Daniel Clark in Las Vegas.


2020 graduates from the Colleges of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resource; Education & Human Development, Science, and Engineering; as well as the Reynolds School of Journalism, the School of Medicine’s speech pathology program and the Orvis School of Nursing participate in one of eight University of Nevada, Reno commencement ceremonies this week inside Mackay Stadium in Reno on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduating class of 2020 participate in a make-up graduation ceremony at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)
University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval enters Mackay Stadium with members of the procession, including Gov. Steve Sisolak, before one of the eight University of Nevada, Reno commencement ceremonies this week inside Mackay Stadium in Reno on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Play Roberts, an Urban Affairs major from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduating class of 2020 greets his brother Tre Owens as he arrives to watch a make-up graduation ceremony at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)
A University of Nevada, Reno graduate during commencement inside Mackay Stadium in Reno on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Jennifer Haley from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduating class of 2020 holds a photograph of her late father Brad Haley during a make-up graduation ceremony at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)
Two University of Nevada, Reno graduates following commencement inside Mackay Stadium in Reno on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduating class of 2020 participate in a make-up graduation ceremony at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)
2020 graduates from the Colleges of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, Education & Human Development, Science, and Engineering, as well as the Reynolds School of Journalism, the School of Medicine’s speech pathology program and the Orvis School of Nursing participate in one of eight University of Nevada, Reno commencement ceremonies this week inside Mackay Stadium in Reno on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (David Calvert/The Nevada Independent)
Students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduating class of 2020 participate in a make-up graduation ceremony at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)
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