Grad Fair to be held in-person


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Graduating senior smiles behind his mask at Grad Fair in October 2020. For the Fall 2020 semester, the Alumni Association held Grad Fair in the Pennington Student Activity Center.

For Spring 2021 graduating seniors, the Grad Fair will be in the Student Union Ballroom on Tuesday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to 3. p.m. 

There are eight time slots available for registration for March 9 and six slots for March 10. Registration for each day closes at 7:30 a.m., and every senior who plans to attend must register beforehand.

Associate Director of Alumni Programming Olivia Graziano shared more details about Grad Fair and the reasons behind the change in location compared to last semester. 

“We were required to move last year if we wanted to do an in-person event because of a dining overflow in the ballroom, but traditionally, we always do it in the ballroom on the third floor at the union. It’s really spacious and has a nice flow,” Graziano said. 

While there are no new safety regulations, there have been a few changes when it comes to the preparation of the event. 

She said, “Everyone has to register, and they check in when they get there. If they are not registered, they basically have to wait and see if we have a spot for them. Normally, we can fit people, but we do ask that everyone registers ahead of time. It’s just going to create a nicer environment for social distancing and all the safety protocols.” 

There are COVID-19 friendly sign-in stations, and Grad Fair now requires students to purchase their cap and gown ahead of time as opposed to using the borrowed attire, according to Graziano. 

Graziano expressed excitement for new giveaways and activities that are planned for this semester regarding the event. 

“I think this one is going to be a little bit more familiar for us and the vendors, and it’s going to feel a bit better in terms of attendance. Last semester, we did see a lower attendance rate because people were afraid to come out. They didn’t know what to expect. Outside of that, we, as the Alumni Association, are offering a VISA gift card to students that register for Southeastern Connect, our networking platform for alumni,” she said.

Graduating senior and human resource management major Brandon Scott explained how he felt about the COVID-19 protocols. 

“Considering how things were when life was normal pre-covid, it’s hard to adjust certain social settings to be considered ‘safe.’ At some point, we all have to move forward and learn how to live with it. Of course you want to still keep yourself safe, but that’s why certain protocols are put in place,” Scott said. 

According to Scott, Grad Fair marks the end of his college experience. 

He said, “It just makes everything feel real. College feels like it’s lasted forever, and I’m almost out.”

To learn more about the Spring 2021 Grad Fair and to view the map of vendors, visit the university’s website under Alumni Events.