Changes to look for at this year’s spring commencement


Michael Keaton, the commencement speaker at Kent State’s 2018 graduation ceremonies, said he “wanted to come clean about something” and admitted, “I never really liked school.” Kent State President Beverly Warren reacts at right.

Sydney Purtee

Spring commencement is expected to be much shorter this year due to several major changes.

After sending out surveys following last year’s graduation to gauge how the attendees felt about the ceremony as a whole, Lashonda Taylor, the executive director of university events and protocol, took the feedback into consideration for this year’s ceremony.

An app was created for attendees to use to help the ceremony go more smoothly.

“The app will help keep all commencement attendees informed as it has the most up to date information,” Taylor said. “It will have information including location, times, inclement weather schedule, parking, traffic patterns and shuttles.”

Seven significant changes were made to the spring 2019 commencement, including the creation of the app, increased handicap seating at Dix Stadium and additional shuttles from campus to the stadium.

The most significant change made for this spring is how advanced degree graduates, such as masters and doctorate students, will have a separate ceremony on Friday, May 10 in the M.A.C. Center. This ceremony was created to shorten the overall time that the graduation ceremony usually takes, while still showcasing each degree.

“I wish this was implemented when I had graduated,” said Hannah Craddock, a human development and family studies major.

Craddock graduated in 2018 and said the ceremony “seemed to drag on forever.”

Graduation will also start later than usual — 11 a.m. — and is expected to be “at least an hour shorter” according to Taylor.

Sydney Purtee covers Academic Affairs. Contact her at [email protected].