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Photos of the first USC graduation ceremony at the Coliseum in 71 years

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The field of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was filled with USC graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 on Friday as they participated in the first of USC’s 14 commencement ceremonies.

About 1,500 students celebrated their graduation Friday morning, and a total of 21,000 will take part in twice-daily commencement ceremonies over seven days. Students were spaced eight feet apart on the field, and spectators were distanced in the stands at the Coliseum, which last held a USC commencement ceremony in 1950.

Maria Zamora sanitizes chairs in the Coliseum before the commencement ceremony.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Two students in red graduation regalia walk through a grid of white folding chairs on a field

Empty chairs are at the ready in the Coliseum before the commencement ceremony.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Students in red or black gowns sit on folding chairs spaced out on the USC football field

Roland Azerin, graduating with a master’s degree from the Keck School of Medicine, sits with the rest of his graduating class in the socially distanced setup.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A woman in a red graduation gown smiles and waves at her phone while on a video call

A graduate on a video call with family and friends before the commencement ceremony.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Three women in black graduation gowns with red sashes smile at a phone for a selfie in front of a stage

Emily Hernandez, left, Gisela Gonzalez and Johanna De Silva, all graduating with master’s degrees in physician assistant practice, take a selfie.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A woman adjusts the red sash around the neck of a fellow graduate

Megan McDuffee, left, fixes the sash of Hayley Bry. Both are graduating with a bachelor’s degree in health promotion.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A large screen behind the graduation stage shows a student in a black gown and red sash giving a speech

Tianna Shaw-Wakeman, the first Black valedictorian in USC history, addresses fellow graduates.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A look down at the Coliseum field filled with students, and people seated in the stands with space between groups

Students were spaced eight feet apart on the field, and spectators were distanced in the stands.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Three students in red graduation regalia hold up dual diplomas

Aleeson Eka, left, Josephine Nwokedi and Lawrence Rolle show off their dual diplomas as all are graduating with medical doctorates and master’s degrees from the Keck School of Medicine and the Marshall School of Business.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Three students in black graduation gowns arch their arms above their heads to form heart shapes

Jacqueline Chu, left, Marissa Kuo and Deborah Madelon, all graduating with master’s degrees in physician assistant practice, signal to family in the stands.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A student kneels to take a photo of another student holding up her hand in a V shape in front of the Coliseum's Olympic torch

Jia (Tina) Huiting, left, photographs Karishma Chhugani after they graduated with master’s degrees in pharmaceutical sciences from the Keck School of Medicine.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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