As graduation draws near, the last few weeks of the semester are jam-packed with events and last minute tasks for seniors. The largest, and to many, most important, event: commencement.

Director of University Events Paula Thatcher has been in charge of organizing commencement for the past 10 years and this year was no different in the challenges she faced. Thatcher said every year, one of the biggest obstacles has been distributing important information to students.

Thatcher said that at the beginning of the year, the department sent all parents of undergraduate students postcards with pertinent dates for the year, but she said she still gets a couple calls a week with questions ranging from ordering cap and gowns to tickets to commencement.

Thatcher’s department made an effort to be more environmentally friendly this year by ordering caps and gowns that are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Seniors were able to pick up their allotted 10 tickets for commencement during Senior Projects Day on April 27. Thatcher said the university is trying to organize a ticket exchange for students who need more than 10 tickets by keeping record of who has extras and who needs more tickets and use a lottery system for any extra tickets.

The ceremony will be held at Lincoln Park Stadium like last year, which was the first time commencement was held at the stadium. Thatcher said the ceremony was smooth enough that there won’t be any significant changes this year, except that last year there was a possibility that graduation would be held indoors with students only being able to invite six people. Thatcher said this year they are committing to an outdoor ceremony rain or shine.

The ceremony will be on Sat. May 21 at 9:30 a.m.

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