Two graduation ceremonies will require tickets

Jessie Hellmann

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All Liberal Arts and Nursing and Health Profession students will have to choose the seven or eight people who they want to come to their graduation in May. 

This year’s spring commencement will be the first time in 20 years that ceremonies will be held on campus, will be split into five ceremonies and also will be the first time two of the ceremonies, the Liberal Arts and the Nursing ceremony, will require tickets for entry.

Cynthia Brinker, university and governmental relations vice president, said ceremonies were divided by colleges so students could graduate with their peers.

About 1,450 students are eligible to graduate, and 800 are participating in the ceremonies, Brinker said.

The Nursing and Health Professions and Liberal Arts Colleges have almost double the amount of graduates than any other college has, meaning the Nursing and Liberal Arts students will have to request tickets for their attendees. 

There will be 256 Liberal Arts students who are graduating, and 226 Nursing students who are graduating.

Nursing students can receive up to eight tickets and Liberal Arts students can receive seven. No other ceremonies require tickets for entry, and small children and infants are required to have tickets.

Brinker said she encourages students to only take as many tickets as they need because any leftover tickets will be redistributed to students who want more.

Students can order tickets starting at 8 a.m April 9 and pick them up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 16 through April 19 in the University Center West at the information desk. Information regarding the availability of additional tickets will be announced April 20 on the commencement website.

Senior radio and television major Sophie Lofton said she invited about 20 people to graduation and is upset students were not alerted of the ticket situation earlier in the year.

“I feel like if they would have told us about this at the beginning of the semester, we could have prepared for it rather than inviting people and then have to uninvite people, who have already booked hotels, and paid for airfare and stuff that are coming from far away,” Lofton said.

She said she plans to get extra tickets when the university hands out additional ones. If she cannot get enough for her guests, she will have to uninvite people.

“They knew (earlier) how many people were supposed to graduate,” she said.  “I don’t think telling people that you only have seven slots less than a month to graduation is a smart timing move to make.”

Despite the ticket situation, Lofton said she likes that graduation is being split into five different ceremonies.

“I think that’s an improvement,” she said. “I like that idea. I feel like it will go faster rather than sitting there with most people you don’t know from all of the colleges.”