For those students who applied for graduation and are looking forward to the commencement ceremony, they now have something else to be excited about. As decided by the Board of Trustees and the commencement committee, which consists of about eight to 10 staff from Facilities, Catering and Events, Student Programs and Student Services,the commencement cremony for students graduating after the spring quarter will be located at Key Arena. Originally taking place in the Bellevue College gymnasium, there were several reasons why the Committee has chosen a larger venue.
Lisa Corcoran, executive assistant to the president and member of the commencement committee, was the first to start talking about its relocation last fall. BC is growing and it was only natural to them that they host commencement in a larger area. “Last year we were just overflowing and had to be very restrictive on the tickets,” Corcoran explained. Originally, students were restricted with three invitations they were allowed to give to any of their friends and family. This year, students can have as many tickets as they need. “We didn’t want to restrict students on bringing friends and family,” Corcoran said.
To the general public, the relocation of commencement to a larger venue may indicate BC’s prestige and development from a community college to a four-year college. However, Corcoran wanted to emphasize that “there wasn’t a goal of showing anybody anything. It was just giving what our students needed.” Matt Groshong, Dean of Evaluations, is also a member of the Commencement Committee. “It was really, really crowded—unpleasantly crowded. And we have room to spread out now,” he said.
Commencement should mark a student’s graduation with excited chatter, lots of pictures, “and you get to go up onto the stage and the president hands you your diploma.” Groshong explained that commencement is “fun. It’s a very happy event. You get to be the special person for the day. You worked hard and here’s the payoff: an event just for you.”