Students and staff gearing up for graduation

Brody Kenny, Reporter

The upcoming graduation commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, December 13 at the Bank of Kentucky Center, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Krista Wiseman-Moore and Kathy Stewart, Manager of Special Events and Director of Donor Relations respectively, offered their insights about the ceremony and how the May and December ceremonies differ.

Since students who earned their final credit hours in August are eligible to walk in December, Wiseman-Moore says that can affect the commencement turnout a bit.

“Generally, when you put August and December together, they’re usually pretty close to May, but for them to be a little bit less than May is not usual,” Wiseman said.

Wiseman-Moore also appreciates the timing of the December commencement.

“Personally I love December’s commencement because it’s right before the holidays, so you have a break,” Wiseman-Moore said.

She does however, address the potential overlap of the various other plans people make around this time of year.

“But on the same token, you also have a lot of other holiday obligations in December, so that can be challenging too,” Wiseman-Moore said.

The threat of inclement weather is also considered. A shuttle service is in place for such a scenario, though the forecast calls for a fairly calm day: 45 degrees, mostly cloudy with no rain or snow. Nonetheless, Stewart says she does not see bad weather as posing that much of a problem in regards to turnout.

“This is a pivotal event that happens in someone’s life,” Stewart said. “So it would take more than a little bit of rain or snow to keep people from coming to it.”

As someone who has worked on NKU commencement ceremonies for 25 years, Stewart has witnessed the ceremony evolve along with the university.

From 2000 to 2008, the ceremony occurred off-campus at US Bank Arena. The space was large enough for a single ceremony to occur, but Stewart described the transportation of all necessary materials as “mind-boggling.”

Just as, if not more stressful were when the ceremonies were held at Regent’s Hall. According to Stewart, due to space limitations, they would have to do as many as six ceremonies in one day.

“It just became kind of impossible to keep up with,” Stewart said.

 Stewart says she is grateful to have the Bank of Kentucky Center available for use, though she acknowledges that further modifications may need to be employed, as graduation classes and ceremonies grow in size. One possible scenario is employing a ticketing system.

“As graduations continue to increase and everybody wants to bring everybody they know, we may have to go the ticketing,” Stewart said.

The morning graduation commencement ceremony will occur at 10 a.m. for students graduating in the College of Arts & Sciences and the College of Informatics. The afternoon ceremony will occur at 3 p.m. for students graduating in the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Health Professions, and the Haile/US Bank College of Business. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.