On the evening of Friday, June 14 graduates, staff and family clustered into the expansive hall of the Key Arena to receive the certificates. Adorned in black robes and mortarboards, the students being honored sat in attendance across the expanse. Standing out among the rest were the students graduating with a B.A. in interior design, who were showing off artistically designed caps to showcase the creative nature of their degree.
At 7 a.m., staff and VIP guests, such as the sole student speaker Safae Zniber, walked up to their seats at the front dais, raised and facing the rest. Then came the B.A.’s, the interior design and radiology majors, followed by several hundred other students categorized by degree.
Cameron Brandy, a BC student who attended the commencement said that, “Commencement is the formal graduation ceremony of any college. Even though it’s the end of the road, I guess we are ‘commencing’ our next journey.”’
On her speech, Zniber said that she focused on her experience as an ESL student. “School, coming here, knowing new people, working at student programs and learning from the leadership institute. It helped me evolve and become a better person.” Though in retrospect she stated with certainty that she had done poorly, other students were enthused and inspired by her words. Cameron Brandy said that her speech was the most outstanding piece of the night, and that it “was beautifully written and she delivered it with a lot of confidence before such a big, energetic crowd”
Continuing, Zniber lamented only that she wished that there was,“a reception afterwards, to help the students feel special. Because I was in the VIP lounge, I had that, and I wish I could have shared that with the other students.”
As many students would murmur to each other over the sounds of the other entering graduates. This was the first year the event has been held at the Key Arena, rather than the Gymnasium on campus, and the difference was unnerving for many.
As a result of the extra space, no limit was put to the amount of guests allowed to graduates. Despite the unprecedented amount of people invited, the students and staff generally agreed that the event was well organized, going off pleasantly and without a hitch.
On walking with his peers up to the podium, Kristianto said that he “felt happy and proud.”