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Kent State Introduces Commencement Improvements

Posted July 18, 2011

The university’s Commencement Office is making improvements to current policies regarding commencement to ensure a better experience for its graduates and their families.

Due to high retention rates and increased ceremony attendance, the university’s Commencement Office is making improvements to current policies to ensure that the ceremony meets the high expectations that the university, its graduates and their families have for this special occasion.

The changes come following the third spring Commencement ceremony held the evening of May 7. At that last ceremony, the number of our students, families and friends who attended exceeded the number registered in the university’s system, creating an over-capacity situation. While all graduating students walked across the stage and received their diploma covers, not all of them were seated in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center for the entire ceremony.

“This was an unprecedented occurrence for commencement at Kent State,” explains Robert G. Frank, Kent State’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “We apologized to our new graduates and their families and friends for the lack of seating in the MAC Center at that ceremony. We understand how disruptive this was to an occasion that marks one of a family’s proudest moments.

“We evaluated our policies and the circumstances that caused this situation, and we’re introducing these improvements, starting with this summer’s Commencement,” Frank continues. “Our goal is to provide a positive, memorable graduation experience and accommodate every graduate and their special guests in the Ceremony Hall.”

Graduating Educational Specialist’s, master’s and baccalaureate students, who plan on attending the upcoming Commencement ceremony on Aug. 13 must complete the online Commencement RSVP Form in order to participate and obtain tickets for their guests. Six tickets will be provided to each graduating student who completes the online Commencement RSVP Form. Students who do not complete the online Commencement RSVP Form will not be able to participate in the ceremony and will not receive tickets.

Communications regarding commencement improvements have be sent to students by email, mail and in person at Graduation Fair. The information is also posted on the university’s Commencement website at www.kent.edu/commencement. Reminder emails will be sent out to all students who have not responded prior to RSVP registration deadline. Additionally, a separate communication regarding the new policy also will be sent to the permanent address on record, addressed to the graduate’s family.

For questions regarding commencement, please contact University Ceremonies at 330-672-2235.