By Lea Shores
Staff reporter

“Pomp and Circumstance” won’t be played for another two months, but plans are already well underway for the 2011 Commencement Ceremonies.

Graduating seniors will be able to order caps and gowns, announcements and class rings at Grad Finale March 2.

Stacy Townsley, registrar, said “Students in the past have found this event to be a convenient way to take care of everything related to commencement. Students should come prepared to pay for cap and gown and other purchases. Payment can be made with credit card, debit card, check, or cash.”

On campus, the event will be from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Pounds Lounge. There will also be an event at the Professional Studies office in Wichita from 3:30-6 p.m.

Students who can’t make it to these events will have to be able to order merchandise online.

“After the Grad Finale event, information about online ordering will be sent through email, the Jinxtale, and posted on the registrar’s website,” said Townsley.

Townsley also said that graduates need to submit an application to graduate to the registrar’s office by April 1. Applications are available in the registrar’s office or online at sckans.edu/registrar.

Since the completion of Richard L. Jantz stadium, seniors have been wondering if they get to be the first class to graduate in the new stadium.

Kaydee Johnson, business administration senior, said several students, including herself, met with President Dick Merriman to discuss where graduation will take place.

Last year, graduation was held in Stewart Field House due to the construction of the new stadium.

“The administration was please last year with how smoothly it all went and I think it was pretty convenient for them. The students were upset but they didn’t have another option,” said Johnson.

The group was able to compromise and a location for graduation has been determined.

“The plan is to graduate in the new stadium. We’ll be the first class to graduate, that’s kind of an honor. And we’re the 125th graduating class,” said Johnson.

Tristan Walters, chemistry senior, said, “I don’t really care where we graduate. I don’t mind graduating in the new stadium as long as the weather is nice.”

The ceremony will be May 8 at 1 p.m. Graduate students will graduate in Stewart Field House at 5 p.m. In case of inclement weather, arrangements have been made to move the ceremonies into Stewart.

A full schedule of the weekend’s event will be posted on the registrar’s website in the next few weeks.

The senior class is also working on preparing the class gift to the college.

Johnson said, “We’re really lucky that the stadium thing happened this year. They had a bunch of rock left over. They gave us the rock, which is normally pretty expensive.”

Johnson said she is talking to a sculptor and an engraver. The rock, she hopes, would be placed near the new stadium.

“In the past few years there haven’t been as many people participate in the class gift. I’d like to see a lot of our class get involved,” she said.

Johnson invites all graduating seniors to join the “Southwestern College Class of 2011” Facebook group, so the class can easily discuss different ideas.

Lea Shores is a senior majoring in English. You may e-mail her at lea.shores@sckans.edu.