Record Number of Students Walking in Graduation Ceremony
The previous record was set in the Spring 2012 Graduation Ceremony, when 575 graduates walked. Participation in the graduation ceremonies, which are held at the end of the spring and fall terms, has been on the rise the last few years.
On Saturday, graduates will also get to hear from Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, who will deliver the keynote address.
CNM Dean of Students Rudy Garcia said there are several reasons for the rise in the number of students walking in the ceremony.
"We've been more aggressive in Student Activities putting the word out about the graduation ceremony," he said. "The schools have been great about getting the word out too. And there's a new electronic (graduation ceremony) process that we started in the summer that has made a difference."
Back when there was one graduation ceremony per year held at The Pit in the spring, the highest number of graduates participating in the event was 465. The spring and fall ceremonies this year will total about 1,195 graduates participating.
At Saturday's ceremony, counting family, friends and employees, about 8,000 people are expected to cheer on the graduates in Tingley.
"Not only does this ceremony provide graduates and their proud families with unforgettable memories that will be cherished for a lifetime, but it also gives our faculty and staff a chance to celebrate their contributions to the success of our students," CNM President Kathie Winograd said. "I encourage all employees to attend. It's always an inspirational experience."
Student Activities staff lead the organization of the graduation ceremonies.
"There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make the graduation ceremonies a success," Dr. Garcia said. "I tell our (graduation) team to look at the faces of the graduates. There's such a diversity of age and ethnicity. We have young people who aren't far removed from high school all the way to students who are in their 60s walking in the graduation ceremony. It's exciting to watch. At the beginning when the graduates first walk in and sit down, they're waving and blowing kisses to their families. That's the coolest thing about the event – seeing students and their families sharing the accomplishment."
Enrollment Services is estimating that there will be between 1,250 and 1,300 students graduating with about 1,400 total awards (degrees and certificates) this fall term. The all-time high was set in spring 2011 when about 1,780 students graduated with a little over 2,100 certificates and degrees.
Employees who will be participating and wearing regalia in the graduation ceremony should have received a parking pass that provides free access to parking through Gate 3 of EXPO New Mexico, which is accessible from the intersection of San Pedro and Copper.
General parking for graduates, employees not participating in the ceremony and other supporters attending the event will be through Gate 8, which is accessible from Louisiana Blvd., just south of Lomas. Parking for graduates will be free. The parking fee will be $5 per vehicle for employees, family and other supporters who are not participating in the graduation procession.
Admission to Tingley Coliseum is free for the Graduation Ceremony.
Employees participating in the ceremony procession should be at the event no later than 11 a.m. There will be other events taking place at EXPO New Mexico on Dec. 8, so arriving early is recommended. For more info, call the Student Activities office at 224-3238.