76th annual Cal Poly commencement ceremonies underway - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

76th annual Cal Poly commencement ceremonies underway

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It's graduation weekend for thousands of Cal Poly students.

For those in the stands, most everyone was talking about the heat wave. From water bottles to fans, people did all they could to beat the heat.

"This is probably the most that I've ever sweat in my life. I'm not kidding," said McKenzie Ladd visiting from Wisconsin.

"It's a struggle to stay focused on what the celebration is about and why you're here while trying not to melt," said Jodi Goetsch of Templeton.

The fans were waving in the stands while others got a bit of relief from umbrellas, hats, or the cardboard from water bottle packaging. Free water bottles were handed out by Cal Poly.

"So we've been taking advantage of that and taking occasional walks to the shade," said Merry Bestard who graduated from Cal Poly back in December of 2015.

"In my five years that I lived here it has never been this hot on a graduation day," Bestard said.

"Not really the best experience in terms of weather but I am happy to see my sister graduate so it doesn't really matter," said Michael Okoro of San Jose.

But perhaps, it was the graduates who felt the sun shining down the most.

"I had to take my gown off at a certain point just waiting for my name to be called, and the keynote speakers and I had to run up into the crowd and grab a fan," said Charmaine Tan.

Another graduate, Trinity Smith walked across the stage to accept her bachelor's degree in theater arts.

She says her experience over the past four years was one that she learned by doing, and would not trade for anything.

"It was so worth it. I sat in a row with all of my theater arts majors and it was such an incredible experience," Smith said.

The third and final ceremony is Sunday at 9 a.m. at Spanos Stadium. Roughly 4,500 students are graduating this weekend from Cal Poly.

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