HAYS, KS -- A total of 1,055 degrees are expected to be awarded at Fort Hays State University's Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 13, in Gross Memorial Coliseum. The degrees will go to students who completed graduation requirements in summer 1999, fall 1999 and spring 2000.
Because of the popularity of Commencement, seating can become difficult to find even in the spacious Gross Memorial Coliseum. Therefore, it is wise to arrive early. Also, for the first time this year, the university is providing alternative viewing options for people who want to avoid the crowds:
* The entire ceremony will be broadcast live to Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall. The performing arts center, with its air conditioning, easy access and comfortable seating, may be the preferred choice as a viewing site for many people.
* The ceremony will be broadcast live by KMA Productions Inc. of Hays over cable channel 58.
* The university will make Commencement available both live and for delayed viewing over the Internet. Those wishing to view the ceremony on a computer should download either QuickTime or Real Player prior to May 13. For the Internet option, a minimum of a Pentium 166 with 16 RAM or a comparable Macintosh is recommended. The address for the on-line broadcast is www.fhsu.edu. The Internet viewing option will make it possible for family and friends to watch the ceremony from distant locations.
Kansas Board of Regents member Floris Jean Hampton of Dodge City will present a short address at Commencement, and Brenda Meder, director of the Hays Arts Council, will announce the names of the candidates as they receive their degrees. Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, Dr. Larry Gould, FHSU provost, and Ron Johnson, president of the FHSU Alumni Association, also will make brief remarks during the ceremony.
Recipients of the Torch, Pilot and Navigator awards will be announced during Commencement. Guests who wish to view Commencement in Gross Memorial Coliseum should enter through gates 1, 2, 3 and 4. Degree candidates should enter adjoining Cunningham Hall by 9:15 a.m. The gates in the Cunningham/Gross complex and at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center will open at 8:30 a.m.
Degree candidates and faculty will be seated on the main floor of the coliseum. Relatives and friends of the degree candidates will be seated in the bleachers and the balcony. Seating arrangements for the disabled have been made in the bleacher areas on either side in front of the stage. One person may accompany an individual requiring seating in these areas. Drivers will find gates 2 and 3, at the northwest and southwest corners, most convenient for dropping off passengers with disabilities.
In the event of rain, the low-water bridge over Big Creek on Gustad Drive may be impassable and prevent direct access to the coliseum from the main campus. Those who plan to attend Commencement in Gross Memorial Coliseum should listen to Hays radio stations for announcements if the low-water bridge is closed. Rain will not hamper direct access to the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
Shuttle bus service will be available between the main campus and gate 2 of the coliseum both before and after the ceremony. In the event of rain, parking will be limited at the coliseum because unpaved lots will be closed, making it necessary to park on the main campus.
Note to Editors/News Directors: Reporters and photographers who want freedom of movement at Commencement should request a Media Pass from the Office of University Relations. Only the official FHSU photographer will be allowed immediately in front of the stage, but other photographers with Media Passes will be allowed near the stage on either side.