Students look forward to next chapter in life

Jessica Stallings

Senior Chelsea Schmidt, who will graduate in May with a degree in marketing and a minor in psychology, said after being in school for four years she is very excited to close this chapter of her life.

“I’m most excited about not having a pile of homework staring at me every evening and weekend and to have free time,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said during her time here she learned to always do what is right and to do your best work at all times, even if you think no one is watching or will notice.

“Doing my best at everything is something my professors have taught me, and something that has proven to be very valuable to me,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is one of 1,500 students graduating in May.

Commencement this semester will be held on campus in the Physical Activities Center (PAC) for the second year in a row.

Five separate ceremonies will be held over two days, May 3 and 4, with a reception in University Center East following each ceremony.

Undergraduates will participate in four ceremonies, one for each college, on Saturday, May 4. A ceremony for graduate students will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3.

The Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education ceremony will be held at 9 a.m., College of Nursing and Health Professions at 12 p.m., Romain College of Business and Division of Outreach and Engagement at 3 p.m., and College of Liberal Arts at 6 p.m.

The doors to the PAC will open one hour prior to the start of each ceremony.

Kindra Strupp, assistant vice president of Marketing and Communications, said students are told not to have their cell phones on them during the ceremonies, and not to wear anything not given to them by their college.

“Beyond what each college gives the students, they are told not to wear any additional adornments,” Strupp said.

For many students it is a tradition to decorate their mortarboards.

“While we recommend against it, there is no written policy forbidding it,” Strupp said.

Live video of each ceremony will be streamed in Carter Hall in the University Center. The ceremonies also may be viewed online at

Amie Shipman, a senior graduating with a degree in international studies and in Spanish studies, said she is feels torn about leaving USI.

“I am ready for the next step in my life, whatever that may be, but at the same time I have met some great friend and colleagues that will be hard to say goodbye to,” Shipman said.

Shipman said her involvement with the International Club for all four years of college is one thing that will stick with her for a lifetime.

“Through this club I have been given the opportunity to travel to Chicago, Florida, Cincinnati, and many other places while simultaneously building friendships,” Shipman said. “Even though it has been hard to say goodbye each year to my friends when they have to return to their countries, it is still an amazing opportunity that USI has provided me with.”

Shipman said even though USI has more than 10,000 students, it still has a large sense of community.

“Most of my teachers are very open to helping students in any way possible, and it truly feels like they want you to succeed,” Shipman said. “They treat you like an individual and not like a number.”