DSU to hold winter commencementDickinson State University students who finish midyear will no longer have to wait until spring for commencement.
Dickinson State University students who finish midyear will no longer have to wait until spring for commencement.
At least 44 students are expected to participate in the university’s first winter commencement Dec. 16, said Marie Moe, director of university relations.
“What we’re finding is our students are graduating and they’re beginning to work and they’re not able to return for commencement to walk,” she said. “Ninety-nine-point-two percent of our spring graduates are already employed.”
Las Vegas native and DSU student Nicholas Nicastro is thankful for the opportunity to have winter commencement.
“If they didn’t have the winter commencement, I wouldn’t be coming back for it probably since I live so far away,” he said. “From the people that I’ve talked to, they’re pretty excited because some of them from out of town or out of state kids said they probably wouldn’t be able to come either. Five months from now we could all be wrapped up in a job where I don’t know if I’ll be able to take days off.”
Nicastro will be graduating after three-and-a-half years of college with a major in communications and a minor in psychology.
DSU’s acting president, D.C. Coston, said he looked into winter commencement after faculty members mentioned there were potentially 150 students who could finish midyear.
“We’re doing this to see if it works for the Dickinson State students and the Dickinson State community,” he said. “We’ll certainly take a look after it and see the results and have further discussions at that point.”
Some students who finish this month will not participate in the commencement, he added.
“We did have a few students … that indicated they would like to go through the commencement, but they’d planned to do it in May,” Coston said.
Commencement will take place at 2 p.m. in Dorothy Stickney Auditorium with a reception immediately following at the Student Center Ballroom, Moe said.
“It will be a scaled down version of the May commencement,” she said. “It won’t be as large, but something that’s nice and meaningful for students and their families to celebrate their accomplishments.”
Terry Hjelmstad, State Board of Higher Education member, and Coston will be speaking at the commencement, she said.
Fall graduate numbers:
2006 – 112
2007 – 104
2008 – 154
2009 – 129
2010 – 121
2011 – estimated at 150
Spring 2011 commencement included 431 graduates. There were 218 students who participated in the commencement ceremony. Nineteen of these students were Fall 2010 graduates.
There are 150 students eligible for graduation for winter commencement. There are 19 students who will wait until spring and 11 have chosen not to participate in any commencement.