Stetson Announces 2017 Commencement Plans

Stetson graduates at outdoor ceremony.

Student Government Association President Jeff Hahn will graduate in May and he wouldn’t want the Commencement Ceremony to be anywhere else except in DeLand.

Stetson University’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony will take place in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, university officials announced Tuesday. The stadium, with a seating capacity of 6,000, can handle the growing number of graduates and their guests.

Student Government Association President Jeff Hahn
Jeff Hahn

Hahn, a political science major from Fort Myers, joined a committee of students after last year’s ceremony that looked at other possible venues for the event. But after visiting the Ocean Center, Volusia County’s convention center on the beachside in Daytona Beach, Hahn said he was convinced the event should remain at Spec Martin.

“When we all got there (to the Ocean Center), we knew it wasn’t Stetson and that was a big thing,” Hahn said. “We spent four years here. We spent four years in the city. Why would we want to end it someplace else? That’s why I supported staying at Spec Martin.”

The planning for Commencement is well underway, said Julie Hunter, director of University Events.

“For our graduates and their families, this is a major milestone in their lives,” she said. “We want to make sure everything is perfect.”

Stetson graduates at outdoor ceremony.

Graduates will again enter the stadium following the degree gonfalons, the ceremonial banners that were introduced for last year’s Commencement processional. Graduates will sit alphabetically within their school or college and by degree. This will allow guests to easily follow along with the program and know when students will have their moment on stage.

For a full schedule of events, visit Stetson’s Commencement 2017 website. This site will be updated throughout the year as more information becomes available.

After the ceremony, the university will host receptions on campus to allow graduates and their family and friends to say farewell to people in their colleges and schools from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This year, the Registrar’s Office will be mailing all diplomas to each graduate, eliminating the diploma pickup following the ceremony.

Based on the positive feedback received last May, Stetson will again hold the Graduate Hooding Ceremony on Friday, May 12, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Lee Chapel in Elizabeth Hall for all master’s degree candidates. Immediately following the ceremony will be a reception in the Rinker Welcome Center. Graduate students will not participate in Saturday’s ceremony.

“Every year, our goal is to look for ways to enhance the experience for our graduates and their families,” Hunter said. “This is a true Stetson community event, and we know how much it means to them.”

For questions regarding the weekend’s events, please contact the Events Office at [email protected].