Tommie the mascot walks across stage. Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas

In the News: Student Who Missed High School Graduation to Celebrate St. Thomas Commencement With Family From Rwanda

Onella Nkurunziza, a graduating senior from the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business, recently spoke with the Star Tribune about her excitement for her upcoming commencement. As a 2020 high school graduate, this will be her first in-person graduation ceremony.

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From the story:

Without the big high school ceremony, “it felt like you skipped over something, and all of a sudden I was in college,” said Onella Nkurunziza, who will graduate soon from the University of St. Thomas.

From Rwanda, Nkurunziza was studying in Wisconsin when the pandemic sped up her plans to return home. Her family gathered in the living room to watch her high school ceremony. This year, they’ll fly in to watch her cross the stage, cheering as she goes.

“Getting to have that experience finally is exciting,” Nkurunziza said. “Four years is a hustle.”