December graduates must wait until spring to be honored

Laura Hubrich, Staff

Each spring, college graduates across the country take their seat in a crowd of others donned in caps, gowns, in front of proud family and faculty to patiently await their turn for a short victory walk across the stage. A diploma represents all of the hard work a student has put in during their time in school. But for some December graduates, like those at IU Southeast, a diploma is sent through the mail while they wait five months for their victory walk.

Most students will graduate in spring semesters. Patrick Fawcett, IU Southeast Office of the Registrar, said that there were 572 graduates in spring 2014, 320 students graduated December 2013 and 264 students graduated summer 2014.

Indiana University campuses do not offer December commencement ceremonies like some other local schools, such as the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University.

Ray Wallace, IU Southeast chancellor, said he is unsure why IU Southeast hasn’t had a winter commencement, but he did say the campus follows Bloomington’s commencement lead.

“We do that because our commencement exercises generally have to have President [Michael] McRobbie there and so a lot of it has to do with his schedule as well,” Wallace said. “It’s very difficult to figure out everyone’s schedule for December.

The decision of IU campuses to not have a winter graduation may have an affect on students who are graduating in December and have to come back in May for commencement.

Brooke White, business and human resources senior, said because she is graduating in December, she is unsure if she wants to come back five months later for commencement.

“Hopefully by the time next May comes around I will be in a real job with other stuff going on and might not have the time to come back down here,” White said.

White said she has lost interest in the commencement ceremony because she is too excited to be done with school.

“I’m almost not interested in it [commencement] because I am going to be done with school and I’m just so excited about being done, White said. “I don’t know what it will be like to come back five months later and then celebrate the fact that I already graduated.

Alex Wolf, marketing and management senior, will be graduating in December and said he does plan to walk in the May 2015 graduation commencement ceremony.

“I wish they [IU Southeast] had a ceremony in December, but I know it could be difficult because of the seating arrangements,” Wolf said.

Both students said that family plays a role in the consideration of walking in May’s commencement.

“They [Wolf’s family] still want me to graduate and walk, so that’s what I’m going to do,” Wolf said. “If it was my decision, I probably wouldn’t walk, I would just focus on my career and what I want to do life after December. I’m doing it for my family.”

Wolf said that if there was a December commencement, he would do it for himself. White said she will consider walking in May because her parents paid for her school and want to see her graduation ceremony.

Wallace said that he would look into having a winter commencement if the numbers of graduates were significant enough. Pending his approval, he would also need to speak with other faculty of IU campuses, including President Michael McRobbie, to see if a December graduation ceremony is something that could someday happen at IU Southeast.

This December, the IU Southeast Office of the Bursar is estimating that more than 281 students will graduate.

 

IU Southeast is not the only IU campus that does not hold a December commencement. Below is the schedule of graduation dates for each campus. IU Bloomington – May 8, 2015 IUPUI - May 9-10, 2015 IU East – May 15, 2015 IU Kokomo – May 12, 2015 IU Northeast – May 14, 2015 IU South Bend – May 12, 2015 IU Southeast – May 11, 2015

IU Southeast is not the only IU campus that does not hold a December commencement. Below is the schedule of graduation dates for each campus. IU Bloomington – May 8, 2015 IUPUI – May 9-10, 2015 IU East – May 15, 2015 IU Kokomo – May 12, 2015 IU Northeast – May 14, 2015 IU South Bend – May 12, 2015 IU Southeast – May 11, 2015