HAYS — Fort Hays State University will recognize approximately 1,157 graduates during its fifth annual fall commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 15 (in person) and Saturday, Dec. 16 (virtual).
Graduates who have chosen to participate in person will be honored in two ceremonies on Friday at Gross Memorial Coliseum (GMC). All graduates will be recognized in two virtual ceremonies on Saturday.
The ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Friday for undergraduate and master’s candidates in the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and the Werth College of Science, Technology and Mathematics.
The 11 a.m. ceremony will be the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the College of Education for undergraduate, master’s, and Ed.S. candidates.
Saturday’s virtual ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. for the Ed.S. and master’s students. The undergraduate virtual ceremony will follow at 11 a.m.
All ceremonies – in-person and virtual – will be broadcast on the Tiger Media Network (https://www.youtube.com/@TigerMediaNetwork)
Recordings of the virtual ceremonies will be archived on the TMN YouTube channel, with the link provided on the commencement website under the “Programs and Videos” tab.
Doors to GMC will open at 7:45 a.m. Graduates will check in at Gate 2 or Gate 3. The graduates will enter the area that says, “Graduate Entrance Only,” and guests will be asked to enter through the door labeled “Guest Entrance” (located at both gates).
Traffic in the GMC area is anticipated to be high during the transition periods between each commencement ceremony. Parking lots adjacent to the coliseum typically fill up quickly, but parking is available on the main campus. In the event of inclement weather, unpaved lots near GMC will be closed, making it necessary to park on the main campus.
Here are a few suggestions from the University Police to help ease the congestion:
• Guests arriving for the second ceremony are encouraged to arrive no earlier than 10 a.m. Arriving too early will result in guests having to park further away or face departing traffic from the first ceremony. Delaying arrival will also allow time for guests to depart from the first ceremony to clear the area in preparation for the second ceremony.
• Graduates driving themselves are encouraged to arrive early, park on the main part of campus, and walk or take the shuttles to GMC to ensure they avoid traffic congestion, get a parking spot, and arrive on time for their ceremony. Shuttles will be available before and after both ceremonies, with the drop-off station at Gate 3.
• Faculty and staff attending are also encouraged to park on the main part of campus and walk or take the shuttles to the ceremonies.
• All guests are encouraged to carpool when possible. Fewer cars will ease traffic congestion and increase the amount of parking at GMC.
• VIP parking is available on the west side of GMC, with accessible parking on the east side.
Students are asked to wear their regalia to GMC. Graduates may arrange to pick up their regalia before Dec. 15 at the Victor E. Apparel & Gift Co. in the Memorial Union by emailing email@example.com. Regalia will also be available before Friday’s ceremony at the Robbins Center (directly north of the GMC parking lot) from 7:30-11 a.m.
Graduates and faculty will be seated on the main floor of the Gross Memorial Coliseum. Guests will be seated in the balcony. The elevator is accessible by Gate 3. Seating for persons with mobility impairment and patrons in wheelchairs is available on the main floor; a commencement staff member will escort the individual(s) and one guest to the disability seating area on the GMC floor. There are no reservations for this area, and seating is limited. Gates 2 and 3, at the northwest and southwest corners are the most convenient for dropping off passengers with disabilities.
An ASL interpreter for those who are hearing impaired will be visible within the commencement live stream video feed.
Graduates, families, and friends are encouraged to sign and write a message on the Kudoboard. Share photos and messages on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook using the hashtag #tigergrad.
New 10 by 10-foot photo backdrops available for graduates, guests, faculty, staff, etc., will be outside GMC (contingent on weather conditions) on Friday, Dec. 15.
The in-person commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live at https://www.youtube.com/@TigerMediaNetwork.
The commencement schedule, maps, directions, links to accommodations in Hays, and general information can be found at www.fhsu.edu/commencement/.