While celebrating their well-deserved achievements, Friends University graduates and their families may notice several changes in commencement ceremonies this May. Friends University will offer four ceremonies this year, including two ceremonies in Wichita and ceremonies at the northeast locations.
Two ceremonies will take place in Hartman Arena for Friends University’s Wichita commencement May 8, 2010. The Graduate School hooding and commencement ceremony will start at 10 a.m. for master’s degree graduates, and the College of Business, Arts, Sciences and Education and the College of Adult and Professional Studies commencement ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. for bachelor’s and associate degree graduates.
Friends University previously hosted commencement at the Kansas Coliseum in Wichita for 10 years.
“When it was announced that the Coliseum would close in early 2010, the University had to find a new location for the ceremony,” said Heidi Hoskinson, associate vice president of Academic Affairs and University Registrar.
Hoskinson explained this change will benefit all who come to the ceremonies.
“Hartman Arena is smaller than the Coliseum. Therefore, to accommodate the 6,000-plus family members, friends and supporters who annually attend the ceremony, the University decided to separate the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies,” Hoskinson said. “With two smaller ceremonies, we can ensure that we have enough seating for everyone who wants to come and celebrate the achievement of their graduate.”
The Graduate School will host a short reception immediately following the commencement ceremony for graduates and their families and friends.
“In the past, the Graduate School had hosted five separate hooding ceremonies prior to the one University commencement ceremony,” Hoskinson said. “The separate graduate commencement ceremony will now incorporate the hooding as part of the ceremony, so a reception is planned following the ceremony to preserve some of the celebratory nature of the prior hooding ceremonies.”
New this year will also be commencement ceremonies hosted by the University at the Education Center locations in Topeka and Lenexa. Both Centers had previously hosted hooding ceremonies for graduate students and a small reception for undergraduate students. Graduating students in each of those locations were then invited to participate in the Wichita commencement ceremony.
“This is a wonderful change for our Education Center students as their family and friends will be able to attend a ceremony in their area instead of having to travel to Wichita to celebrate with their graduate,” Hoskinson said.
The Lenexa and Topeka graduation ceremonies will be May 2, 2010. Lenexa’s ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, and Topeka’s ceremony will commence at 3:30 p.m. at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. Undergraduate and graduate hooding ceremonies will take place at both locations.
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