FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2009
Contact: K.E. Schwab
Increasing graduate numbers, weather worries
bring two-commencement plan to Slippery Rock University
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University knew the day was coming; It was just a matter of time. With nine years of record enrollments, the number of students graduating each term was bound to reach a critical mass. Faced with increased numbers of graduates, which led to fewer tickets available for family and guests, as well as constant worries regarding the weather have prompted the SRU commencement planning committee to opt for two separate, indoor ceremonies starting with spring commencement.
The ceremonies are set for May 2 in Morrow Field House.
"These changes will be substantial and bring about a number of revisions to our longstanding approach, but because graduates will now be able to have an increased number of family and friends attend this important milestone in their lives, it is really the right thing to do," said Linda Quidone, commencement committee chair and director of the Office for Students with Disabilities.
Each graduating student will receive four admission tickets. Because of increased graduating class size in recent years, ticket allocation had been limited to only two tickets per graduate for indoor ceremonies.
Plans call for graduates from the College of Health, Environment and Science, the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts and students in SRU's graduate studies programs to graduate at the 10:30 a.m. ceremony. The College of Business, Information and Social Sciences and the College of Education will graduate at the 2 p.m. ceremony.
"By moving our ceremonies indoors, we eliminate the work of double planning both outdoor and indoor ceremonies and having to constantly worry about last-minute weather conditions. We also took into consideration the fact that this year's ceremony comes early - May 2 - so it could be frigid if held outdoors in N. Kerr Thompson Stadium," Quidone said.
Even with dual ceremonies, there will be only one rehearsal. Rehearsal is at 1:30 p.m. May 1 in the field house. "All of the graduating students will need the same information and the only difference in the ceremonies will be what time they are to report on graduation day," Quidone said.
"We will need time between the ceremonies to re-set the field house," Quidone said. The ceremonies will be as identical as possible.
Quidone said volunteers who have traditionally lent a hand at the single ceremony would be asked to do "extended duty" for the day. "We will also be asking others to volunteer to help make sure the ceremonies run smoothly," she said.
Admission tickets to each of the ceremonies will be color coded. University Police will similarly color code various parking lots to ensure a smooth flow from those departing and those arriving.
An 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. graduation reception in University Union Multi-Purpose Room will simultaneously send off the morning graduates and their guests, while welcoming those participating in the afternoon ceremony. "The reception will give everyone a chance to say 'Goodbye and good luck' to all of their friends across the University," Quidone said.
The University will still hold only one ceremony for fall semester, where graduate numbers are traditionally lower.
Additional details will be provided on the SRU commencement Web site: http://www.sru.edu/pages/15497.asp.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.