On May 13 and 14, Pittsburg State University graduates will take their honorary walk across the stage, receiving the degrees they've worked so hard to attain and celebrating with their faculty, family and friends.
This year, in addition to a new set-up in Weede Gymnasium, PSU is implementing changes to the commencement ceremonies that will make the celebrations more comfortable and streamlined for graduates and their families. Students will be honored by college in four different ceremonies - two Friday evening and two Saturday morning - and the event will once again be streamed live on the PSU website for those who live too far away to attend.
Commencement for the College of Business will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 13. Commencement for students in the College of Arts and Sciences will take place at 8 p.m. that evening. On Saturday, May 14, commencement for the College of Technology will be held at 9 a.m. and for the College of Education at 11 a.m.
Dr. Bill Ivy, dean of enrollment management and student success, has led the campus-wide committee charged with planning a new structure for commencement - one focused on the individual recognition of each graduate.
"That personal recognition at commencement reflects the university's commitment to the individual student throughout their academic career at Pittsburg State," Ivy said. "It is important for us to preserve that."
Of the 940 students who will participate in graduation ceremonies this spring, two stand out as deserving of special recognition. Brittany Watson, an accounting major from Bartlesville, Okla., and Vincent Juliano, a nursing and Spanish major from Overland Park, Kan., were named PSU's Outstanding Seniors at the spring Leadership Awards banquet in April. Both excellent scholars, Watson and Juliano have also been highly involved in campus organizations.
"I was in shock being recognized like this," said Watson, who will return to PSU this fall to begin work on her MBA. "I never imagined this, I just always tried to do my best. PSU was the perfect school for my personality. I enjoyed the small classes and the opportunities."
Juliano, who has accepted a position as a cardiac nurse, agreed he is humbled by the recognition and pleased with his decision to get an education at Pitt State.
"I never even took a campus tour before I decided to go to school here, and it was the best decision of my life," he said. "I wanted to try something new and meet new people, and that's what I've done. I've been proud to represent so many organizations and to receive an honor like this."