Graduation numbers expected to be lower this year

Stephanie Markham , News Editor

With the fall commencement ceremony approaching, 808 students have applied for graduation, including 163 graduate and 645 undergraduate students.

Kelly Harmon, the graduation clerk in the office of the registrar, said the number of students to graduate will likely be lower by at least 100, though she will not know the exact count until closer to the Dec. 20 graduation date.

“That’s not going to be the number because I’ll have to inactivate people,” Harmon said. “I always do, but right at this point in time it’s 808 students.”

She said one factor accounting for the imbalance is that many graduate students do not finish writing their theses, so they reapply for graduation the following semester.

Harmon said a total of 834 students graduated last fall.

Mary Hackler, the commencement coordinator, said she estimates that about 500 to 550 students will walk in the ceremony, though she is still waiting for information on how many students ordered caps and gowns.

Hackler said about 600 students walked in the ceremony last fall, which was higher than the two previous years when the number was closer to 500.

She said the most important thing for students at this point is to keep checking the commencement webpage for updates and important dates.

Students who did not order their caps and gowns by the Nov. 16 deadline can still do so by calling the representative from the Herff Jones vendor at 217-817-0607, though a $20 late fee will be applied.

They can pick up their caps and gowns from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 in the Charleston-Mattoon Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, and those who will not be on campus can get them in the Field House of Lantz Arena on commencement day.

Students can get up to nine tickets for each ceremony from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 in the Arcola-Tuscola Room of the Union, and those who will not be on campus can email their requests to Hackler.

The commencements will be at 10 a.m. and at 1 p.m. Dec. 20 in Lantz Arena.

The first ceremony is for the Lumpkin College of Business and Applied Sciences, the College of Arts and Humanities and the Graduate School for both colleges.

The later ceremony is for the College of Education and Professional Studies, the College of Sciences, the Graduate School for both colleges and the School of Continuing Education.

Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]