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January 2003

Release Date: January 23, 2003

ASU to Split Spring, Fall Commencements into Two Ceremonies

To more satisfactorily accommodate the families and friends attending Angelo State University's spring and fall commencements, the university is changing to two graduation ceremonies this spring and switching all graduation exercises from Fridays to Saturdays.

The decision, announced by Dr. Donald V. Coers, ASU's provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, means that ASU's spring commencement will move from a single university-wide ceremony Friday, May 9, to ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.

The same schedule will be followed for the fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 20, instead of Friday, Dec. 19.

At the 10 a.m. ceremony, degrees will be presented to undergraduates from the College of Business and Professional Studies and the School of Education as well as to graduate students completing their master's degrees in programs within those colleges. Those graduate students would include any receiving a master of business administration in accounting or business administration; a master of education in educational diagnostics, reading specialist, guidance and counseling, or school administration; a master of arts in curriculum and instruction; or a master of science in kinesiology.

Then at the 2 p.m. ceremony, degrees will be awarded to undergraduates from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the College of Sciences as well as to graduate students receiving their master's degrees in programs within those colleges. Those graduate students would include any earning a master of arts in communications, English, history or interdisciplinary studies; a master of science in animal science, biology or psychology; a master of science in nursing; a master of public administration; or a master of physical therapy.

Although a single university-wide commencement will be still be held at the end of the summer terms, it too is being moved from Fridays to Saturdays. This year the summer commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16.

Coers said the change was made to alleviate the overcrowding, especially during the spring commencement. Last spring more than 550 students graduated, bringing a crowd of friends and relatives that overflowed Stephens Arena. Although overflow accommodations were made where people could see the ceremony on closed circuit TV, most visitors wanted to see their graduates in person. As a result, many people preferred to stand in the aisles, creating a potential safety hazard.

Changing the ceremony from Fridays to Saturdays will also make it easier for more people to attend from the region without having to take time off from work, Coers noted.

"We wanted to get the word out about the changes as soon as possible this semester so students scheduled to graduate could notify their families and friends in time to make appropriate travel arrangements and in time to order their invitations with the correct information," Coers said.

Letters have been sent to all candidates for graduation this spring and efforts have been initiated to alert students and the community through the media. Word is also being disseminated through the student and faculty senates as well as through the classroom.

"We want to make ASU's commencement a safe and memorable experience for everyone," Coers said. "By splitting the ceremonies it will be possible for more people to participate without worrying about seating."