As part of ongoing efforts to ensure graduates and guests enjoy a safe and high-quality experience, beginning this December Southeastern will host two commencement ceremonies on the same day.

A ceremony for graduates of degree programs housed in the College of Education, College of Business, and College of Science and Technology will begin at 10 a.m. while a ceremony for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will begin at 5 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held Saturday, December 14, at the University Center. This will be the arrangement for winter commencement ceremonies moving forward.

For spring commencement ceremonies, however, the assigned colleges will switch, with the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences students graduating at the 10 a.m. ceremony and graduates of the College of Education, College of Business, and the College of Science and Technology participating in the 5 p.m. ceremony.

Those earning master’s and doctoral degrees will participate in the ceremony with the college where their degree program is housed.

The decision to divide what was previously one larger ceremony into two smaller ones was based on input from student and faculty and staff focus groups, as well as feedback from guests, according to President John L. Crain.

“What a wonderful dilemma to have when record-high attendance and numbers of graduates participating in the ceremony necessitate such changes,” he said. “Southeastern has a proud tradition whereby we call every graduate’s name while they cross the stage. Hosting two ceremonies moving forward will continue that tradition.”

Several options were considered to address concerns of an ever-growing ceremony, according to Kay Maurin, assistant vice president of enrollment management, including the possibility of issuing tickets to limit the number of guests.

“After meeting with our students, it was clear that the preference was for our graduates to celebrate with the family and friends who supported them on their college journeys,” Maurin said.

In recent years, Southeastern instituted additional safety and security measures by making a prohibited items list available and providing bag checks for guest entry. The Southeastern Channel now also live streams Commencement so family and friends unable to attend can watch from homes or their mobile devices.

More information about the two Commencement ceremonies can be found at southeastern.edu/commencement.

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