As a self-described introvert and two-time graduate of the University of Idaho, Commencement Coordinator Lisa Belles said while both fall and spring commencement have their merits, she prefers fall commencement.
“I love the fall commencement, because it’s a lot more intimate,” Belles said. “It feels a bit more like a University of Idaho family event.”
This year’s fall commencement ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Kibbie Dome.
For many students like senior Elizabeth Jossie, the date arrived quicker than expected.
“I’m excited to finish my degree and celebrate, but I am also not prepared,” Jossie said. “I guess I spent a lot of time thinking of graduation as being in the distant future, and now it’s finally here, but I haven’t quite adjusted my mindset yet.”
The commencement ceremony, whether held in the fall or spring, is all about honoring the years of hard work that graduating students invested, Belles said. Belles participated in fall commencement after graduating in 2007, and walked across the stage again in Spring 2012.
Belles said students who want to walk at commencement this semester should have already applied to graduate, but if a student has not, they still can apply on VandalWeb by 3 p.m. Dec. 9. Should a student want to graduate but not participate in commencement, the deadline is 11:59 p.m. Dec. 16. Students that haven’t applied for graduation yet this semester must pay a $60 fee.
The date of the fall commencement ceremony falls in the weekend between dead week and finals week — a time defined by copious amounts of cramming for tests by stressed students.
“I think it is kind of overwhelming to have to do the entire graduation thing right before finals week,” senior Dakota Atwood said.
Belles said fall commencement typically hosts around 400 graduating students, whereas spring commencement hosts closer to 1,000 students. This impacts the time each student has on stage after their named is called.
“With spring commencement, there are so many people there, when they’re walking across the stage we have them coming from both sides and announce the names as quickly as possible,” Belles said. “Fall commencement is a lot smaller. We have students walk across the stage one at a time from one side to the other, so there’s a bit more time for their name to be read off.”
The ceremony will begin with students lining up on the east side of the Kibbie Dome to proceed to their seats. Following this, UI President Chuck Staben will give an introductory address, and not long after that the dean of the College of Engineering will present his commencement address.
From there, students joining the armed forces will take Oath of Office, and then graduate, doctoral and undergraduate students will walk across the stage.
George Wood Jr. can be reached at email@example.com