It’s springtime at Olivet College, and that means graduation for seniors is rapidly approaching. As the college prepares for the class of 2023’s departure, what will attendees and graduates need to know?
According to Sarah Peterson, Assistant Dean for Distance Education and Senior Class Advisor, commencement will be taking place on Saturday, May 20 in the Cutler Event Center. “We will start promptly at 1 p.m., so we ask all attendees to arrive early and find seats,” said Peterson. “Graduates who are walking will need to arrive at noon to get in line and fill out picture cards.”
According to Laura-Barlond-Maas, Associate Professor of English and Organizer of Commencement, the doors will open at 11 a.m. If graduating seniors have not ordered their cap and gown or have not filled out their Commencement application and diploma form, they will not be able to attend commencement.
There is no limit to the number of guests that can attend commencement, said Blake Reed, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Senior Class Advisor.
“Parking is free and available in campus lots as well as the field across from Cutler,” said Reed. “Handicapped parking is also available near Cutler.” Graduates and guests are advised to arrive early so that they can scope out seating, find a good parking spot, and so graduates can get their pictures taken around campus. According to Peterson, there is no need to worry about reserving parking spots. Handicap seating will also be available.
“If somebody needs to see the sign language interpreter, they can reach out through Jen Joppie,” said Barlond-Maas. “They can only take one person to sit with them in VIP seating, so the rest of your guests would be over on the regular bleachers because there’s a limit to VIP seating.” Joppie can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be a photo area on both sides of the stage for family to come forward and take pictures when graduates are called up, said Barlond-Maas.
Prior to commencement on May 20, there are two other events that graduates and guests can take part in. “Baccalaureate is an event designed and put on by the graduating class,” said Peterson. “It is a chance for them to celebrate their time at Olivet and for all in attendance (family, friends, and faculty) to celebrate all the graduates have achieved. This is held Friday, May 19 at 4:30 in the Olivet Congregational Church. Graduates will need to wear their cap and gown to this event.”
There is also the Senior Celebration, a party directly following Baccalaureate, taking place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19, according to Peterson. This event will take place in the Kirk Center. “This is a time to celebrate with family, friends, and faculty, and reminisce about the time spent at Olivet,” said Peterson. “There will be chances to see things from the graduates' first year, record memories, and celebrate with everyone. Appetizers, beverages, wine, and beer will be provided.”