PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was graduation day for the Class of 2012 at the University of Pittsburgh Sunday.
And security was taken to a new level during Pitt’s Commencement Convocation at the Petersen Events Center.
Canine patrols, screenings at the entrances, plus a number of agencies were on hand to ensure a safe event.
“Fire departments, Hazmats, city medics, the FBI, all the agencies, the county police; they’ve been more cooperative and I appreciate that,” said Chief Tim Delaney, of the University of Pittsburgh Police.
The graduates were hoping for no interruptions during the ceremony after enduring dozens of evacuations from buildings on campus due to a series of bomb threats in recent months.
Some say the threats made it difficult to finish the classes they needed for graduation.
“There would be a bomb threat at the library, so everyone would go to the Cathedral; it was really hard to make ends meet, turning in papers, printing things out for presentations,” said Aaron Misera, one of the graduates.
“It was really creating some anxiety,” added Adam Park, another new Pitt grad. “I was afraid they were going to close the University and I might not graduate correctly.”
Chancellor Mark Nordenberg praised the 2,000 graduates for showing strength and resiliency during the threats.
“The qualities that you displayed in meeting unwelcomed challenges that have come our way will serve you well in other settings,” he said.
Keynote speaker, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, alumni of the Pitt Graduate School and U.S. Army Surgeon General, also praised the Class of 2012.
“Your presence here today, and that of your family and friends, reflects your resolve to challenge and overcome the efforts that have sought to disrupt student life,” said Lt. Gen. Horoho.
Graduates said that the bomb threat crisis taught them some lessons to remember as they enter the work world.