SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Thousands of students from the Sacramento State class of 2022 walked across the stage at the Golden 1 Center in what was the university’s first in-person commencement ceremony since the start of the pandemic.

The Sacramento State ceremony was attended by 9,345 graduates, which was a record for the university.

Business and marketing major Kuulei Hunter described the feeling of just making it to this point.

“It feels tremendous. You know you work your whole life for this moment and it’s all going to be worthwhile and I’m so excited for life and thank you, mom and dad, for getting me through college,” she said.

An amazing feat that was celebrated in person, marking the university’s first since 2019.

Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen took it all in, greeting every graduate as they walked across the stage.

“Being back together, seeing them on the jumbotron, that warms the heart,” said Nelsen. “I love them. I love this university. I’m proud of this university. I’m proud of what the faculty did. We proved that today and we got to be a hornet family.”

Tim Collom, President’s Medal for Distinguished Service Recipient said, “Just so grateful and thankful to Sacramento State. Sacramento State has been an incredible institution.”

Additional ceremonies for Sac State students and families will take place at the Golden 1 center through Sunday.