FHSU set for spring commencement

FHSU Media Relations
FHSU president Tisa Mason poses for a picture with a past graduate at commencement.

Fort Hays State University will recognize approximately 1636 graduates during Friday and Saturday’s commencement ceremonies. More than 800 students will cross the stage at four in-person ceremonies, with all graduates being recognized in two virtual ceremonies.

The in-person commencement ceremonies will take place at Gross Memorial Coliseum (GMC) located on the FHSU campus. The ceremonies will begin on Friday with the College of Education at 8 a.m., followed by a joint ceremony of the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship and the Werth College of Science, Technology, and Mathematics at 11 a.m. The ceremonies will continue on Saturday with the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at 8 a.m., followed by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at 11 a.m.

In addition to the in-person ceremonies, all graduates will be recognized in two virtual ceremonies. The ceremony for Graduate School students will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the undergraduate students will be recognized at 4 p.m. All ceremonies will broadcast on Central time and will be located on the Tiger Media Network and the FHSU Facebook.

This spring’s Commencement exercises recognize the accomplishments of 1636 students. The totals are 60 associate degrees; 1,027 bachelor’s degrees; 533 master’s and Education Specialist degrees; and 16 Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.

The schedule leading to start time is the same both days: Doors to GMC and the adjoining Cunningham Hall will open at 7:00 a.m. Graduates will check-in at Gate 2 or Gate 3. The graduate will enter the area that says, “Graduate Entrance Only” and guests will be asked to enter the door labeled guest door entrance (located at both gates).

Students are asked to wear their regalia into GMC. Graduates may make arrangements to pick up their regalia prior to May 14 at the Tiger Spirit Shop by emailing tigerspiritshop@fhsu.edu to arrange a pickup time. Regalia will also be available before the ceremony at the Robbins Center (directly across from GMC) on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15 from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Graduates and faculty will be seated on the main floor of Gross Coliseum. Guests will be seated in the balcony. The elevator is accessible by Gate 3. Seating arrangements for the disabled are available on the main floor; a commencement staff member will escort the individual(s) and one guest to the disability seating area on the GMC floor. There are no reservations for this area and seating is limited. Drivers will find Gates 2 and 3, at the northwest and southwest corners, most convenient for dropping off passengers with disabilities.

An interpreter for those who are hearing impaired will be located near the left side of the stage and shown within the commencement livestream video feed.

In observance of current university Covid-19 policies, FHSU is limiting the number of guests at each in-person ceremony to six guests per graduate. Though tickets will not be required to enter the ceremonies, the university asks guests to be considerate of other graduates and respect the guest limit. All attendees over the age of 5 are required to wear masks while in Gross Memorial Coliseum (GMC).

Traffic in the Gross Coliseum area is anticipated to be high during the transition periods between each commencement ceremony. Parking lots adjacent to Gross Coliseum typically fill up quickly, but parking is available on the main campus. In the event of rain, unpaved lots near Gross Coliseum will be closed, making it necessary to park on the main campus.

Here are a few suggestions from the University Police to help ease the congestion:

Guest arriving each day for the second ceremony are encouraged to arrive no more than 15 to 30 minutes before 10 a.m. Arriving too early will result in guests being forced to park further away or face departing traffic from the first ceremony. Delaying arrival will also allow time for departing guests from the first ceremony to clear the area in preparation for the second ceremony.

Graduates driving themselves are encouraged to arrive early and park on the main part of campus and walk or take the shuttles to GMC. This will better insure they avoid traffic congestion, get a parking spot, and arrive on time for their ceremony.  Shuttles will be available both days before and after both ceremonies with the drop-off station at Gate 3.

Faculty and staff attending are also encouraged to park on the main part of campus and walk or take the shuttles to the ceremonies.

All guests are encouraged to carpool when possible. Fewer cars will ease traffic congestion and increase the amount of parking at GMC.

Please slow down and have patience with the traffic and parking. If everybody practices this, the day will be more enjoyable for all.

All graduates (including those who participated in the in-person ceremonies) who have filed an intent to graduate for Spring or Summer 2021 prior to April 9, 2021, will be recognized during the virtual ceremony at the designated times. Recordings of the virtual ceremonies will be archived on the FHSU YouTube channel, with the link provided on the commencement website on the “Spring Graduates” tab.

The in-person commencement ceremonies will be broadcast live at https://fhsu.edu/commencement/watch-live and the Fort Hays State University Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/forthaysstate.

The Commencement schedule, maps, directions, links to accommodations in Hays, and general information can be found at www.fhsu.edu/commencement/.