Preparations underway for spring commencement


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

Graduates celebrate during Fall 2018 Commencement. This semester’s event is scheduled for May 18. Dr. Kay Maurin, assistant vice president for enrollment management, Patrick Gipson, police lieutenant, and Scott Nunez, director of the University Center, help run commencement.

This weekend, over 1,000 students will walk across the stage at commencement.

For the second time in the university’s history, the ceremony, which takes place on Saturday, May 18, will be livestreamed.

The commencement ceremony was livestreamed for the first time in December.

“We are offering this option again for the spring and encourage its use as an option to traveling to campus,” said Dr. Kay Maurin, assistant vice president for enrollment management.

Maurin works with a committee to coordinate each commencement. Committee members include representatives from the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, Enrollment Management, Auxiliary Services and the Division for Student Affairs.

“Our main objective when preparing for the event is to ensure that each graduate and their family members have a quality experience that is representative of their time at Southeastern,” stated Maurin. “College graduation is a special accomplishment, and we want to host an event and create an experience that reflects that achievement.”

Patrick Gipson, police lieutenant, noted that planning for the event usually begins about two months in advance with an assessment of the most recent ceremony.

“Our biggest concern is the safety of the people attending the event,” shared Gipson. “We also work hard to try to assist motorists into parking areas around the venue.”

Gipson expects closer parking lots to fill early and advises attendees to carpool and arrive early.

“Be prepared to park a distance from the event and to ride shuttles to and from the venue,” explained Gipson. “The Lion Traxx shuttles will be running throughout the day. Parking areas around the University Center will be full by 9 a.m. All motorists will be directed to main campus south of University Avenue after that.”

Scott Nunez, director of the University Center, expects a high attendance.

The building has a capacity of over 9,000, but Nunez encouraged people to watch the livestream from the comfort of their own home.

“In the two years I have been in the position, we have had standing room only for all Southeastern graduations,” said Nunez.

The university has created a website to assist people preparing to attend the ceremony.

“I would strongly encourage graduates and their guests to review all of the commencement information online before attending the ceremony,” stated Maurin. “Details include information on parking, arrival times, seating, bag checks and livestreaming the ceremony. There’s a special section on the website just for guests that I recommend graduates share with everyone who plan to attend the ceremony.”

The site also provides a map detailing which entrance graduates should use and where they will sit during the ceremony based on their college.

University Center staff must move or cover the basketball court, build a stage and set up tables and chairs in preparation for the event.

“We could not do this without the help of other departments on campus,” shared Nunez. “The UC is the host building of commencement, but it is run and organized by so many other departments on campus.”