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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Cost, other factors may influence whether students walk for graduation

While graduation ceremonies can be an iconic moment in someone’s life, some think it isn’t worth the time or money.

Last year, 1,503 of 1,914 total graduates attended the ceremony, meaning 411 students didn’t walk. This year, 2,158 of 2,255 graduating students are expected to take part in the May 10 ceremony at the Stroh Center.

However, the latter number isn’t set in stone because those are just the students who said they’re going to come, and some may not make it in the end, said University Spokesperson Dave Kielmeyer.

The numbers of students who come are steady, and there usually aren’t a lot of differences in numbers, Kielmeyer said.

Kielmeyer thinks going to the ceremony can be an important part in someone’s life.

“To me, it’s capping that achievement. You’ve made a significant investment in time and money to finish your degree,” he said.

Kielmeyer said the graduation ceremony is a long-standing tradition and he’d like to see as many people as possible come.

Lee Meserve, a professor of biological science, is the mace bearer during the ceremony, and leads students up to the podium.

“It’s not rocket science, but it’s kind of an official part of the commencement ceremony,” he said.

While he thinks it’s good for students to attend, Meserve said a big part of it is about the parents.

“It’s mostly for parents, I would say,” he said. “It’s not a forgettable event for the students but typically parents want to see the final step.”

Meserve recalls when he was an undergraduate at the ceremony, and thought it was an important moment in his life.

He said it’s good for students to hear inspirational words and see “there is life after undergraduate school.”

Although he said it’s an important event, he understands why some students may not attend.

“It’s a weekend, and some people might have things that they might think are more important in that point in their lives,” Meserve said.

Senior Mike Reilly thinks the ceremony is worth the costs and wants to recognize all the hard work he’s put into his education.

“[I’m going] to make my parents proud,” he said. “And also to recap my accomplishments at BG.”

Senior Mary Singer isn’t going because she doesn’t think it’s worth the cost and time.

“Because my graduation will be a celebration of being done … sitting somewhere where I’m not done makes no sense,” she said.

She said if the regalia and costs associated with graduation were free, she may consider going.

Meserve also said some students have a limited amount of money, and aren’t able to afford regalia.

Some students also have jobs they need to get to before the ceremony, Meserve said.

Meserve didn’t attend his Ph.D because his degree was conferred later than the ceremony, which took place in June and his degree was conferred in July.

Jill Carr, vice president of student affairs, said while she is okay with students who don’t think the ceremony is worth their time, she thinks it’s important.

“They’re entitled to their opinion,” she said. “My own opinion is that it’s a wonderful tradition.”

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