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UIS to hold graduation ceremonies on campus

NPR Illinois

The University of Illinois Springfield is making a change for graduationthis year. After years of having the event in the downtown at the BOS Center, the school will have students cross the stage at the UIS Performing Arts Center.

Commencement will be held over two days, May 10 and 11.

Chancellor Janet Gooch said the transition was based on a number of factors.

“We have a beautiful campus, with ample parking and a high-quality event venue — and we have many students who have never been on campus, and even more family members with limited to no direct experience with UIS. This is our opportunity to create amazing memories right here at UIS on one the most meaningful days of our students’ lives,” she said.

To accommodate as many guests as possible, there will be three separate ceremonies:

· 7 p.m. Friday, May 10: Graduates from the College of Health, Science and Technology

· 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11: Graduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and
the College of Public Affairs and Education

· 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11: Graduates from the College of Business and Management

A survey last year provided feedback about commencement preferences, according to Gooch.

“Respondents expressed a strong interest to attend college-specific celebrations in addition to the commencement ceremony itself, which we can achieve much more easily with an on-campus ceremony,” she said. “ There also was strong support for attending a commencement ceremony for “just my college,” as well as support for a ceremony length of approximately 75 minutes; last year’s ceremony, in which all four colleges were together, lasted three hours.”

Gooch said those answering the survey were asked about their priorities for a graduation event. Results were:

(1) hearing their name and walking across the commencement stage

(2) having loved ones attend in person

(3) feeling their accomplishment is being celebrated

(4) commencement being held on campus

(5) a short ceremony.

Gooch said a ticketing system will be in place for guests and a platform will be offered for unneeded tickets to help those who want more than the maximum allotted. Details on how many tickets per graduate will be forthcoming.

Overflow seating with a livestream of the ceremonies will also be available, according to UIS.

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