Split Graduation Held for First Time at Arkansas State University

May 6, 2006 -- Posted at 7:06 p.m. CST


JONESBORO, AR -- Spring graduates fromArkansas State University are the first to experience a split graduation ceremony.

To help alleviate problems created by the lengthy ceremony usually held at ASU, the spring commencement was split into two daytime ceremonies on Saturday.

“Moving the ceremony to Saturday makes it a lot more convenient to travel.  It is very difficult for families to travel long distances on a Friday night,” said Graduate Candace Martin.

Other than distance traveled, other factors contributed to the change.

“The numbers were so large, and it was a long time for the parents and guests to sit through the commencement ceremony,” said ASU Registrar Tracy Finch.


Graduation at ASU typically lasts about 3 hours, which can make graduating seniors antsy.

“They were anxious to get their diploma, which is awarded after the ceremony, so they wanted a shorter ceremony,” said Finch.


“Why would you want to wait through a ceremony for people you don’t know, when you can get through yours, and be done?” said Graduate Jeramy Pappas.


Many larger universities have split ceremonies, so what does this change say about ASU?

“It says ASU is very big now days.  I mean, we’ve got two graduation ceremonies.  It means we’re one of the most intelligent colleges out there,” said Graduate Jason Brooks.


For the parents and relatives of the graduates, this change will make the whole process more convenient.

“I think it’s a good deal, because you can kind of get your family together, instead of being spread out all over the auditorium,” said Charlie Turner.

Over 1,100 students graduated from Arkansas State University on Saturday.