The Penn State World Campus Graduation Celebration for summer 2021 graduates and their families was a success, as hundreds attended the reception that was held during the University's commencement weekend, on Saturday, August 14.

Check out some of the moments from the celebration below.

These two are graduates from the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Journalism and Media program.

On the left is Julia Vai, who traveled to Penn State from Los Angeles, California, with her dog Riley. Vai said that Riley has been with her from the beginning, when she started her courses in 2016, so she created a cap and gown for him to wear, too.

"Riley has been with me since I got my acceptance letter, and now he's here with me today," said Vai, who works in TV production and recently finished work on a show for Netflix.

Jona Hall is in the center of the photo on the right above. She traveled to Penn State with a friend from her home in Illinois, Mary Hayes (on the right in this photo), and met another friend, Kaitlyn Acevedo (left), who is also a Penn State World Campus student. 

The vice provost for Online Programs at Penn State, Renata Engel, addressed the crowd in some brief remarks. She congratulated the graduates for this achievement, and she thanked the family and friends in attendance who provided the support to help the graduates reach graduation day.

David Altier, pictured in the photo above on the left, traveled a great distance to attend graduation.

Altier is stationed at the U.S. Navy's ballistic missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Altier started courses in 2016, and he said he wanted to attend commencement at the University Park campus despite the 19-hour plane ride because it was a "once-in-a-lifetime chance."

Altier wants to use his degree to get commissioned as a supply corps officer in the Navy.

Among the military students to graduate on Saturday were three who completed a master's degree as part of a fellowship program.

The graduates, seen in the photo on the right above, were part of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Fellowship program, which gives them the chance to complete the Master of Education in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education within a year while stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.

Pictured are, from left to right: Jason Levy; Will Diehl, the lead faculty member of the master's program; Dale Dukes; and David Cox.

Four graduates from the Penn State Online MBA program who bonded in their first course came to Penn State to attend the graduation reception together.

Christina Harawa, Tyler Wulfsberg, John Philips, and Allison Raven met in a course. After that experience, they stayed close, helping one another through many other courses. They came from near and far to celebrate graduation with their friends and families, with Harawa traveling the farthest — from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Cheryl Horten, who served as a teaching support specialist in the program, also worked with the four graduates and met them at the graduation celebration.

Pictured are, from left to right: Raven, Horten, Phillips, Wulfsberg, and Harawa.

Thanks to everyone who attended and made this summer's graduation celebration a success!

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