Ready, Set, Graduate!
On Your Mark, Get Set, Graduate
February 10, 2005 2:53 PM
The deadline to apply for May graduation is Feb. 18, and arrangements for Commencement 2005 are already in the works.
The staff at the SF State Bookstore hopes to ease impending graduation woes with its annual Graduation Fair, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 14-18 in the lobby of the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
At the fair, students can order graduation announcements, class rings and diploma frames. Also, the soon-to-be graduates will be able to have their picture taken in a cap and gown for free and learn about SF State's Alumni Association, which costs $20 for the first year and includes insurance discounts and access to every California State University library, among other advantages.
In recent years, the grad fair has yielded a high turnout. Over 14,000 e-mails have been sent to students who are eligible to graduate this spring. Last year, only half that number was sent out and more than 2,000 students attended the fair, said Kirsten Giglione, marketing manager for the bookstore.
Giglione graduated from SF State last year and helped organize the event this time around. She attended the fair in 2004 and urged current students to do the same.
“It’s convenient because you can get your Grad Pack and save up to 20 percent on everything you’ll need. All of our vendors are going to be there. Last year I took care of all my grad stuff in half an hour,” said Giglione.
Grad packs include cap and gown rental, announcements, address labels, thank-you notes, gold envelope seals, an SFSU graduate keychain and a diploma case. The packages range from $200-300, but the bookstore will offer discounts of 10 to 20 percent at the fair. More expensive packages include larger amounts of these items and some extras.
A surprising amount of students do not know about the Grad Fair yet.
“I haven’t even heard of it,” said Melanie Cleary, a chemistry and psychology major who will participate in graduation this May. “But now that I know, I’ll definitely go. I should get that stuff taken care of.”
The university’s 104th commencement ceremony in May will recognize students who have either completed their graduation requirements in the past year or are preparing to receive their degree after the current semester. Renting a cap, gown and tassel set informs planners that a student intends to participate in the commencement.
At Commencement 2004, there were 3,700 graduating students in attendance, and almost twice that number applied for graduation last year, according to Norma Urcuyo-Siani, director of Special Events for the Office of University Advancement.
One alumna was disappointed with her commencement experience last year.
“I bought lots of graduation stuff through the bookstore and my whole family went to the commencement,” said Heather Graybehl, who has her bachelor’s degree in classics. “There were thousands of people there, and you were just called up to the stage by college – not by department. My family left (the ceremony) because they couldn’t even see me.”
Many current students, however, are excited about getting their degrees and being recognized in the ceremony.
“I’m going to buy everything for graduation - a really nice ring - everything,” said Crystal Hutchinson, who will receive her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and Spanish this year. “And my parents are more excited about it than me. I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college. I hope they’ll have room for everyone in my family at the ceremony.”
Additional information about Commencement 2005 will be continually updated at http://www.sfsu.edu/commencement. At this time, however, this much is for sure about the ceremony: on May 28, graduates will walk across a stage, take empty diploma cases, and then receive their diplomas in the mail a few months later.
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