Changes coming in times and procedures for FHSU Commencement on May 13 and 14


03/02/16 ks
HAYS, Kan. -- Although it is still months away, officials at Fort Hays State University are alerting faculty and students to changes that will take place for Commencement in May.

The annual ceremony has undergone several adjustments over the past few years, necessitated by huge increases in the number of graduates. With the second-lowest in-state tuition in the nation and multiple academic programs of distinction, Fort Hays State has become an ever more popular destination of choice. Enrollment increased to an official count of 14,210 in the fall 2015 semester, up from about 5,800 in the year 2000. As a result, the number of graduates has also nearly tripled over the past decade.

To enable more family members and other well-wishers to attend, Commencement in May 2015 was divided into two separate ceremonies. Students who received undergraduate and graduate degrees from two of the four FHSU colleges participated in Commencement on a Friday evening, and students who received degrees from the other two colleges participated in Commencement on the following Saturday morning.

That same arrangement of two separate Commencement ceremonies will continue this year, but with the addition of a fifth college, there will be a different arrangement for participation.

Graduates from the College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the College of Education, and the College of Science, Technology and Mathematics will gather for Commencement at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 13. Graduates from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences will gather for Commencement at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 14. With a 9 a.m. starting time, the Saturday ceremony will begin an hour earlier than last year. Both Commencement ceremonies will take place in Gross Memorial Coliseum, which is immediately adjacent to the U.S. 183 Bypass on the south side of the FHSU campus.

"By making this announcement at the start of the spring semester, we are providing ample time for our graduates and their families to make plans for Commencement," said Dr. Graham Glynn, FHSU provost. "Hays has 950 hotel rooms, but the demand created by Commencement can quickly exhaust that supply of rooms. Those who will need accommodations would be wise to make their reservations early, ahead of the rush."

The division into two Commencements is necessary to avoid overcrowding in Gross Memorial Coliseum. "This arrangement allows plenty of space at both ceremonies so that we do not have to limit the number of people who can attend," said Dr. Mirta M. Martin, FHSU president. "Fort Hays State is a family, and the last thing we would do is tell some of the members of our graduates' families that they cannot attend Commencement. This is a day of celebration. We invite everyone to join us in commemorating the success of our students."

In recent years the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall has been offered as an alternate viewing site for Commencement through a live video feed, but it is being discontinued this year because the number of people using that venue has dwindled to fewer than a dozen.

Up-to-date information about Commencement 2016 is available on the FHSU website at:

Back to top