FHSU to graduate 4,075 this year in ceremonies Friday night, Saturday morning, May 12, 13

HAYS, Kan. - Fort Hays State University will graduate 4,075 students this year - the total from summer and fall 2016 and spring 2017 - an increase of 7.41 percent from last year's total of 3,794.

It is also the first time Fort Hays State has graduated more than 4,000 students in a year.

"The culmination of all our efforts as educators is to prepare them for the next stage of their careers," said Registrar Craig Karlin. "The continual increase in the number of graduates tracking the continual increases in enrollment is another sign of our success as an institution."

The continuation of increased numbers means that a tradition of two commencement ceremonies will continue. Both ceremonies will be in Gross Memorial Coliseum, immediately adjacent to the U.S. 183 Bypass on the south side of the FHSU campus.

"We want to honor our graduates and give their families a special occasion to honor their students' achievements, but we also want to enable them to get to their personal and family celebrations in a time fashion," said Karlin. "Our goal is to keep each ceremony within two hours."

Ceremonies for graduate and undergraduate degree recipients from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Peter Werth College of Science, Technology, and Mathematics will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, May 12.

A separate ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 13, will be for graduate and undergraduate degree recipients form the W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the College of Education and the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

For Friday's ceremony, doors open to Gross Memorial Coliseum and Cunningham Hall at 4 p.m. Graduates can pick up name cards, caps, gowns, hoods and tassels at Gate 1, Gross Coliseum, from 1 to 5:45 p.m. The line-up for students graduating on Friday begins at 5:15 p.m. in Cunningham Hall.

Saturday, doors open at 7 a.m. Pick up name card, cap, gown, hood and tassel at Gross Memorial's Gate 1 from 7 to 8:45 a.m. Line-up in Cunningham Hall begins at 8:15 a.m.

Graduates and faculty will be seated on the main floor of Gross Coliseum.

Guest seating is available on the bleachers and in the balcony area. Both ceremonies are free and open to families of graduates and to all friends of the university. No tickets are required. All seats in Gross Memorial Coliseum are first-come, first-served and are normally filled one hour before the start of the ceremony.

The numbers are 472 from the summer 2016 term; 777 from the fall 2016 semester; and 2,826 from the spring 2017 semester. The overall numbers will change slightly when the degree-verification process concludes, but the total numbers for Commencement are 87 associate degrees; 3,182 bachelor's degrees and 806 graduate degrees (master's and education specialist graduates).

Traffic in the Gross Coliseum area is extremely heavy for Commencement. Parking lots adjacent to Gross Coliseum typically fill up quickly, but ample parking is available on the main campus. In the event of rain, unpaved lots near Gross Coliseum will be closed, making it necessary to park on the main campus.

Shuttle bus service will be provided both Friday and Saturday between the campus and Gross Coliseum. The shuttle buses will stop in parking lots and wherever drivers see people walking to or from Gross Coliseum.

Seating arrangements for the disabled are available in the bleacher area on either side in front of the stage. Drivers will find Gates 2 and 3, at the northwest and southwest corners, most convenient for dropping off passengers with disabilities. There are no reservations for this area. One person, if necessary, will be allowed to accompany an individual in this seating area.

An interpreter for people who are hearing impaired will be near Section C in the bleacher area.

Persons other than degree candidates attending Commencement are asked to enter through the four coliseum gates and not through Cunningham Hall.

Commencement will be broadcast live to campus residence halls and over two area cable TV systems. Eagle Communications will carry the live telecast on KFHS-TV, Channel 17, in Hays, Ellis, Russell and WaKeeney. Rural Telephone will carry the live broadcast of Commencement to nearly 40 communities in northwest Kansas. Residents in communities served by Rural Telephone should check their local listings for the channel in their community.

Commencement will also be broadcast live through Tiger Media Network. Links to each ceremony will be available through the Watch Live buttons at the top of the page at www.fhsu.edu/commencement/.

Viewers who choose this option should download Windows Media Player prior to May 12 and use Windows or Mac OS X, version 10.3.9 or greater.

Live coverage will also be presented on FHSU's social media channels:
Facebook event: http://ow.ly/UFoC30bn3tz

Maps, directions, and general information, including links to accommodations in Hays, are available from www.fhsu.edu/commencement/. The direct link to a rehearsal video is www.fhsu.edu/commencement/rehearsal/.

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