Resources for Graduation Event Professionals

How Students and Parents View Commencement

As a part of the graduation industry, it's easy to forget the myriad of emotions students and their families experience around commencement. For any given student, graduation represents numerous years of hard work, dedication, personal and financial sacrifice as well as formative years creating relationships that will last a lifetime. GradImages explored these experiences further during focus groups with graduates and their families. Here are some of the emotions grads and their families reported feeling on graduation day:

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The importance of sign language interpretation at commencement

Editor's Note: At many graduation ceremonies across America you’ll likely see a sign language interpreter standing next to the stage on a platform or elevated position interpreting the graduation for a community of students and families. A Gallaudet Research Institute summary estimates 3.4% of the American population between 18 and 34 are hard of hearing or Deaf, around 2.3 million Americans. Providing a sign language interpreter for hard of hearing or Deaf students and graduate families is an integral part of an exemplary commencement experience.

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Commencement Spotlight: Linda Bekerian at Northeastern University

Editor's Note: Linda Bekerian is the Associate Director of Academic Ceremonies at Northeastern University in Boston, and the Past President for the North American Association of Commencement Officers. She is responsible for some very impressive and complex commencement ceremonies, with graduate participation in the thousands. This article highlights Linda, her role as the University's commencement director, and how she prepares for these special events.

Also, be sure to check out Linda's article on NAACO, which can be found here.

Topics: Commencement Preparations Personal Stories

Commencement experiences for a Florida State University graduate

Editor's note: Kathleen is a marketing assistant for GradImages, and graduated from Florida State University on May 3, 2014 with a degree in Sports Management.  This is part two of a short series that follows her from the days leading up to graduation into her post-college life.

On graduation day, I was trying not to let nerves get the best of me.  My day began with a three mile treadmill run at the gym, in hopes of distracting myself about what was to come a few hours later. To my surprise, however, instead of running off my nerves, I found myself running down memory lane. Memories of the last four years were numerous. From happiness to sadness, and from anger to pride, a wide range of emotions began to overwhelm me. There were low points in college I wanted to forget, and days where I was on top of the world. By the end of my therapeutic run, I had realized college was indeed the best of times and the worst of times for me. Leaving the gym, I went home and got ready for one of the biggest days of my life.

Topics: Personal Stories

One graduate's perspective in the final days before commencement

Editor's note: Kathleen is a marketing assistant for GradImages, and graduated from Florida State University on May 3, 2014 with a degree in Sports Management.  This was written before her graduation, and is part one of a short series that will follow her through graduation into post-college life.

Graduation is considered to be one of the biggest days of your life. Whether you’re graduating from high school or college, it is an important event. In my case, I am fortunate enough to be graduating from college in just a few days. However, I can’t seem to muster up any excitement for graduation. In fact, I’ve even tried convincing my mom that I shouldn’t walk at the commencement.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about the fact I no longer have to drag myself out of bed every morning to go to class, fight for parking in the student lots and the best part, no more homework! I can kiss essays and long hours of studying good bye!

Topics: Personal Stories