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UNT commencement moved to Coliseum

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

Imminent rain, storms prompted decision

The University of North Texas will have its mass commencement ceremony at the UNT Coliseum instead of Apogee Stadium on Saturday because of weather concerns, cutting the capacity by two-thirds.

Graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and students obtaining master’s and doctoral degrees will not be able to participate in the ceremony and will have to watch a live feed on televisions in the Gateway Center and Murchison Performing Arts Center.

UNT President Neal Smatresk decided to move the ceremony indoors sooner rather than later because of the showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for Saturday, said Monique Bird, a spokeswoman for the university.

“We were looking at the weather forecast and the severe weather that we’re expecting, and specifically the president decided to make the decision this early so graduates and their guests can begin to adjust their plans,” she said.

The mass commencement ceremony was set to include conferring of all degrees that were awarded at the smaller recognition ceremonies. Now, College of Arts and Sciences graduates and all master’s and doctoral students will have their degrees conferred at their respective recognition ceremonies.

Saturday’s ceremony in the Coliseum will be as close to the original plans as possible. The ceremony still begins at 8 p.m., and Gov. Greg Abbott will still be the commencement speaker. The audience will just be smaller. Apogee Stadium fits 30,830 people, while the Coliseum fits 10,500.

Additionally, a pre-graduation celebration has been canceled. The university planned to host a Jazz on the Hill party from 4 to 7 p.m. outside Apogee. They were scheduled to have live music, food trucks and flower vendors to help congratulate the graduates.

Smatresk announced the changes in an official notice to the campus Thursday through an email.

“Thanks for your understanding and flexibility as we navigate the fickle Texas weather,” the email said. “While the relocation wasn’t part of our original plans, we won’t let the weather dampen our celebrations to honor the estimated 8,290 students who make up the 2014-15 graduating class and kick off our 125th anniversary celebrations.”

For details on parking and other aspects of the ceremonies, visit www.unt.edu/commencement.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

UNT

“We were looking at the weather forecast and the severe weather that we’re expecting, and specifically the president decided to make the decision this early so graduates and their guests can begin to adjust their plans.”

— Monique Bird, UNT spokeswoman

Commencement schedule

The following is the schedule for the University of North Texas’ commencement ceremonies:

Today

8 a.m. — Undergraduate College of Public Affairs and Community Service Recognition ceremony at the Coliseum

11 a.m. — Undergraduate College of Information Recognition ceremony at the Murchison Performing Arts Center

11 a.m. — Undergraduate College of Education Recognition ceremony at the Coliseum

2 p.m. — Undergraduate Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism Recognition ceremony at the Murchison Performing Arts Center

2 p.m. — Undergraduate College of Engineering Recognition ceremony at the Coliseum

4:30 p.m. — Undergraduate College of Music Recognition ceremony at the Murchison Performing Arts Center

4:30 p.m. — Undergraduate College of Business Recognition ceremony at the Coliseum

7:30 p.m. — Doctoral and Master’s Convocation with Doctoral/Master of Fine Arts hooding at the Coliseum

Saturday

8:30 a.m. — Undergraduate College of Visual Arts & Design and College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism Recognition ceremony at the Coliseum

11:30 a.m. — Undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences I Recognition ceremony at the UNT Coliseum (biological sciences, chemistry, communications studies, dance and theater, economics, English, geography, history, integrative studies, general studies and social sciences)

2:30 p.m. — Undergraduate College of Arts & Sciences II Recognition ceremony at the Coliseum (international studies, mathematics, media arts, philosophy and religion, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, technical communication, world languages, literatures and cultures)

8 p.m. — Universitywide commencement at the Coliseum

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.