By Megan Greve
Graduation day is quickly approaching for more than 4,000 Ohio University students. Here is some information graduates and their guests need to know as they prepare for 2009 commencement ceremonies.
More than 800 candidates for master's and doctoral degrees will walk in a 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Friday, June 12. More than 3,400 undergraduate candidates will walk in separate 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. exercises on Saturday, June 13.
Undergraduates are grouped according to college size. The morning ceremony is for graduates of the College of Business, the College of Fine Arts, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Scripps College of Communication, University College and regional campuses. The afternoon ceremony will celebrate graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, College of Health and Human Services and the Honors Tutorial College.
Instructions and tips for graduates
- On Tuesday, June 9, at 11 p.m., parking lot 129 and the Convocation Center garage will be cleared of vehicles to prepare for the Commencement ceremonies. Parking lot 128 also will be cleared by 11 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, and Friday, June 12. Purple commuter lots, excluding metered and restricted spaces, are available to displaced vehicles from Monday, June 8, to Sunday, June 14.
- Assemble in the Convocation Center garage by 8:45 a.m. for morning ceremonies on Friday and Saturday and by 1:15 p.m. for Saturday afternoon ceremonies.
- Pick up a pre-printed name card from a staff person at their respective college table or fill out a card. Tables will be located in the Convocation Center garage.
- Turn cell phones off or set to silent or vibrate.
- Pre-select a location outside the Convocation Center to meet your family and guests after the ceremony.
Instructions and tips for parents and other visitors
- On Friday, June 12, and Saturday, June 13, guests are permitted to park in dark green and purple lots on campus, except in metered and restricted spaces. On Saturday, individuals will be on hand to direct traffic to appropriate lots.
- Doors to the Convocation Center open at 8:15 a.m. for the morning exercises and 1 p.m. for the afternoon commencement.
- Guests will enter the main doors of the Convocation Center facing Richland Avenue.
- Those needing special seating accommodations are asked to use the Convocation Center's service entrance off South Shafer Street.
- Wheelchairs are located at the service entrance and the main lobby. Guests may not stay seated in these wheelchairs, but rather use designated seating. Guests with personal wheelchairs must check them in the main lobby and will be issued a claim ticket.
- Restrooms are located on the outer concourse. A unisex restroom is located in the lower lobby.
- A lactation room is located on the main concourse.
- Changing tables are in all restrooms.
- Limited mobility parking is located outside the service entrance in lot 128.
- Seating for guests who are hearing-impaired is in the first two rows of Section 101.
- Diabetic kits are located in the main lobby, at the west entrance and at the service entrance.
- A lost-and-found area is located at the will-call office in the main lobby.
- Turn cell phones off or to vibrate.
- No persons other than graduates, media and working staff are allowed on the Convocation Center floor.
Traffic and construction
Visitors are advised that traffic can be heavy in Athens during Commencement weekend, and they are urged to arrive early. Travelers should be advised of lane restrictions on US 33 West and the outbound lanes of US 50 East near the Stimson and E. State St. exits. Parts of this section of highway are limited to one lane. Motorists should allow themselves extra time to navigate these restrictions.
Photographs will be taken by a professional photographer. A picture will be taken of each individual being greeted by his or her academic dean on stage. Candidates should receive a photographic proof within 10 days of commencement. There is no obligation to purchase these pictures. However, for every picture package purchased, the senior class will receive a contribution to its treasury. The university receives no financial benefit from the studio.
A word on personal behavior
The vast majority of family members and graduates prefer the ceremony to have the dignity of a university graduation. Graduates may decorate their mortar boards but are discouraged from acts that detract from the ceremony.
Items that distract from the ceremony or threaten safety will be confiscated before and during the ceremony.
Please note that no beverage containers of any kind will be permitted inside the arena.