Stephen F. Austin State
University's steady growth has created an issue of space when it comes its
biggest graduation, the spring commencement. Reality has set in. It's time for
two graduation ceremonies.
"We really didn't want to
because there is really something to be said about a full coliseum and the fun
and ambiance of the whole celebration," Monique Cossich, SFA's executive
director of enrollment management.
But graduation planners can't
ignore the fact guests and the honorees are too close for comfort.
"People are standing," Cossich
said. "Some people were standing outside because it was just too crowded to get
Approximately 700 graduates and
their guests are expected at each graduation ceremony.
The idea of a 9:30 a.m. and 2
p.m. graduation ceremony sits well with senior Jessica Harrison.
"I have a large amount of
people that are coming and that way they can sit where they want to," Harrison
said. "There's a little bit more space for them, so I think that is good."
Other considerations included
the economic impact the change would have on Nacogdoches when thousands of
visitors come to town.
The discussion focuses on the effects
it could have on local restaurants and hotels and motels. It's the desire that
the split graduation will eliminate the rush on local restaurants and people
will still spend the night Friday or Saturday."
Yet most SFA graduates are from
East Texas, Houston, and Dallas. That's close enough for families to make it a
one-day function. Local hotels will have to wait and see if cancellations start
For now, the structure of
future May graduations will be determined on a case-by-case basis according to
the size of each graduating class.
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