December graduates visit one-stop shop to prepare for commencement


Ashley Sodosky

Seniors graduating in December had the oppurtunity to attend Countdown to Commencement to get all their graduation needs in one place. Graduates can purchase tassels, get measured for caps and gowns and have cap and gown portraits taken at the event.


Only a few weeks stand between about 690 Marshall University students and the Dec. 12 commencement day.

Before flipping their tassels in the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, students are required to finalize a few things around campus. The university is helping by providing a one-stop shop to services at the semi-annual Countdown to Commencement.

Students visited various tables in the Memorial Student Center’s Don Morris Room Tuesday to prepare for graduation. The event is designed to assist tentative graduates with different campus administrative offices in one central location.

Roberta Ferguson from the university’s registrar office said the one-stop shop countdown to commencement has helped increase numbers at the December commencement.

“We guarantee that, because everything is in a central location, Countdown will save them a lot of running as they take care of pre-commencement responsibilities, during the busiest time of the year,” Ferguson said. “We encourage all of the graduates to join the Marshall community to celebrate their academic achievements.”

The event is organized so students go in order from table to table to take care of graduation business.

At the registrar’s office, students verify graduation status, verify name format and addresses for mailing diplomas. Students are also able to pick up appropriate cords and receive their commencement instructions.

The office of the bursar helps students with accounts, holds and balances. Financial aid helps students complete loan exit counseling and work on loan repayment. Other tables include alumni relations, career services, the center for African American students, graduate college and military and veteran affairs.

Students can be measured for caps and gowns by the university bookstore, purchase tassels, diploma frames, have their cap and gown portraits taken, shop for class rings and graduation announcements from Jostens.

Senior communications studies student Derrick Law said he thinks countdown to commencement is great and made him more excited for graduation.

“It’s way more convenient because it’s a one-stop shop,” Law said. “I don’t have to lollygag around to other places and I can go right to one place.”

Staff encourages not only students, but parents of students to attend and be a part of the students final steps. Law’s mother, who was with him during his final stop, said they were all excited for the graduation ceremony.

This year’s graduation will mark the second year the winter commencement has taken place in the Big Sandy Arena. Previous ceremonies were conducted in the Cam Henderson Center on campus, but continued growth in the number of graduates forced the venue change.

“It’s a good thing we did (move it),” Ferguson said. “It was pretty packed in the Big Sandy. The Henderson Center wouldn’t have been big enough last year and there’s no reason to think it would be big enough this year.”

Countdown to Commencement will assist students preparing to graduate this December again Wednesday in the Don Morris Room. The event will be held again in the spring for anticipating May graduates.

Ashley Sodosky can be contacted at [email protected].