The fate of the location for the 2010 commencement ceremonies has been decided. This year’s senior class will be graduating in Stewart Field House.
One concern about holding graduation in the field house was the limited amount of seating for family and friends of the graduates. In an e-mail sent to the senior class before Spring Break, Dick Merriman, president, announced that there would be two separate ceremonies for undergraduates and another ceremony for graduate students. Each student will receive 15 tickets for family and friends. If a student doesn’t need all the tickets, they may be returned and given to a student who needs more.
Most students are satisfied with the outcome of graduation. Greg Jeffers, athletic training senior, said “This is one of the better scenarios. It allows us to have more family members present and that it what matters to me.”
Outdoor locations, including the soccer fields and local fair grounds, were considered but each came with their own set of problems such as parking and handicapped accessibility. Merriman said, “The field house accommodates those issues. It has been used before in the event of rain and we know how to set it up.”
Keeping the ceremonies on campus was important for students and for nontraditional students. “Graduation may be the only time some adult learners are ever on campus,” said Merriman.
Seniors will be allowed in to watch the other graduation ceremonies without a ticket, though it is not the same as graduating together as a class. Elizabeth Higbee, theatre senior, said “It is unfortunate that I won’t be able to see my entire class graduate together.”
Graduation will be split up by degree. Students receiving a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or a Bachelor of Science in the natural sciences will graduate in the first ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Ceremonies for those receiving a Bachelor in Science will be held at 4:30 p.m. May 9.
The situation is not ideal but seniors understand that this is the best way to have the most people attend graduation. “The situation was handled really well,” said Jeffers. “It’s not an ideal situation but those in charge did the best they could.”
Seniors may pick up their tickets in the president’s office until April 1. Extra tickets may be returned or given to another senior.