At face value, graduating from college seems straight forward. You complete your credit requirements and walk across the stage to receive a diploma. However, what about all the minor details that busy soon-to-be grads are forgetting? How about ordering your cap and gown, obtaining tickets for graduation so your family can attend, sending out announcements, and giving your input on who you want to speak at the reception dinner?
There is a lot more to graduating than college seniors realize. Pitt-Bradford realizes that students are busy preparing for the last few weeks of the semester, and officials have assembled a “one-stop-shop,” known as Graduation Central, to make it easier for soon-to-be grads to make their graduation arrangements.
Graduation Central was held in the Mukaiyama University Room 39 days before commencement. Students lined up outside the doors, which opened at 2 p.m., and anxiously waited to see what was in store for them. Once the event started, students received a card that would enter them into a drawing for door prizes, which including free regalia. There were 11 different tables set up around the room that offered different information and services for grads:
Pitt Bradford Alumni Association: Information to activate your alumni account, how to keep your Pitt email account, and material for health insurance.
Nominating reception speakers: Students were asked to nominate a student and faculty member whom they would like to hear speak at the graduation reception dinner.
Office of Communications and Marketing student surveys: Students were asked to fill out surveys regarding their experiences at Pitt-Bradford in return for a T-shirt. Students were also encouraged to follow Pitt-Bradford’s Twitter and Instagam accounts, and then mention Pitt-Bradford on their own feeds in return for candy.
Photos with the Panther: Students got a chance to get pictures with friends and the Pitt-Bradford Panther to remember their experience at Grad Center.
Senior Class gift Donations: Students were asked to donate $13 or more to contribute to the senior class gift. In return they received a T-shirt.
Student Activities Council Resume Help: SAC was providing students with a list of any organizations or clubs they were involved in. Students could add the list to their resume.
Career Services: Gave out free resume paper and offered tips for interviews and resume building.
Class Rings and Diploma Frames: Students were able to see samples of rings and frames to purchase.
Graduation Announcements: Students had the opportunity to purchase professional graduation announcements to inform friends and family of their accomplishment.
Purchasing Cap and Gown: Staff from the Panther Shop took orders for students’ regalia.
Commencement Ticket Distribution: The Panther Shop staff also documented how many tickets students requested for commencement.
The University room was filled with laughter and smiling faces. Everyone seemed to be excited about the process, which would lead them one step closer to holding that hard-earned diploma in their hand.
Ashley Andrucyk, a senior majoring in public relations, said, “This made me realize I was graduating, so it was a great experience.”
She said it was very helpful to have everything in the same place at the same time. The process flowed smoothly, and the system set in place works well.
As a senior, I found the event exciting and helpful. Although there were a few tables that weren’t relevant to my needs, I got what I needed for commencement. I also got some freebies along the way. The experience was almost surreal; it’s hard to believe I will be graduating in fewer than 40 days. Graduation Central made the process easy and fun. I’m not sure what the alternative would be for students to acquire everything they need for that special day, but I think the one-stop-shop approach is effective.