By Jordan Mills —

Commencement day is a day most students have been anxiously awaiting since they entered college. The occasion marks the achievements students have made in their college career, and allows fellow classmates, professors and loved-ones to celebrate these accomplishments.

Jayci Gibbs, a graduating senior said she was looking forward to the upcoming graduation. “I’m excited to have my family there. As a first-generation college graduate, it really means a lot to me because they have been the ones supporting me for these five and half years.”

Continuing her education after high school was a big deal for Gibbs and her family. She said having a ceremony where they all can celebrate her success makes her feel all the more thankful.

Like many students approaching the last weeks of their college career, Cheyenne Hill is also feeling the overwhelming excitement for graduation. She says the anticipation has also been accompanied by the feeling of anxiousness and concern. She was asked if she knew what to expect on commencement day and answered, “Not at all. I have no idea what’s about to happen.”

Hill said her biggest concerns are the rushing and delay of when a student can pick up their cap and gown, where to park on graduation day, where the practice gym is exactly, and what times are best for her family to arrive and gather their seats.

Hill said the university could ease her feelings of unawareness and anxiety with more information. “I would love to have a meeting just to ask questions and talk.”

Director of Planning and Operations in Undergraduate Affairs and Enrollment Management Joseph Dablow was able to help answer these questions and more that students like Hill might ask. He said “I think that graduation is the celebration of the bigger achievement. I don’t want to do anything to make someone feel like they need to be anxious or feel stressed by the ceremony. “

The rehearsal dinner will be held at the KFC Yum Center on Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. “We run a rehearsal the day before the commencement… which is helpful to people to get a lay of the land, tell the people that are coming to watch where to sit to get the best view,” Dablow said.

The commencement ceremony will take place on Dec. 15 at the KFC Yum Center.. Proceedings will begin at 7 p.m. and are expected to last roughly two hours.

Dablow said it is important for attendees to allow ample time for parking and finding seats. “Students are asked to be in the lineup room by 6:30, so that we can get the walk order set and organized for the procession,” he said.