’Guins gear up to graduate

By Matthew Sotlar / The Jambar

As the semester comes to an end, plans for spring 2024 graduation ceremonies are underway.

In previous years, graduation took place as one commencement encompassing all six colleges. According to Jackie LeViseur, director of University Events, each college will have its own commencement over two days.

“We actually have a totally new format this year,” LeViseur said. “We’re doing individual college ceremonies. So, there’s actually going to be six ceremonies. They will take place over Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5. Each day will have a ceremony at 9 [a.m.], 1 [p.m.] and 5 [p.m].”

Five of the six ceremonies will be held in Beeghly Center. Cliffe College of Creative Arts will have its graduation in Ford Theater of Bliss Hall.

With the pandemic’s social distancing guidelines, graduation was moved to Stambaugh Stadium in 2020. LeVisuer said having the ceremony indoors at Beeghly is better with unpredictable weather.

“Weather is always a factor,” LaViseur said. “We did it [outdoors] for three years, and one year it was too hot, one year it was too cold, one year it actually kind of rained [and] snowed. So, that kind of makes it nerve-wracking. So, we went to six ceremonies. In fall, we do two ceremonies.”

The spring 2024 ceremonies were separated by college due to capacity issues. LeViseur said it would be hard to fit all graduates and their guests into Beeghly at once.

“The graduating class is getting so large that with capacity in Beeghly, we couldn’t have one ceremony for all of the graduates. Even doing two was too much. We were just running out of space. Beeghly is going to be undergoing renovations after commencement, and we’re actually going to lose seating. So, we started to think ahead,” LeViseur said.

Each ceremony will begin with an opening speech from YSU President Bill Johnson, and Interim Provost Jennifer Pintar will attend. The commencements will also have a student speaker and a YSU alumni speaker.

LeViseur said she is hopeful for a large turnout at each ceremony.

“We’re hoping that people really take to this,” LeViseur said. “We get more faculty and staff participation because of this. It’s their college, you take pride in that. Another thing with smaller ceremonies, because the stands get packed — kids will bring eight to 10 people — we don’t limit how many people you can bring.”

The ceremonies are free and not ticketed. Parking will be free for the days of commencement.


Commencement Ceremonies and Speakers

College of Graduate Studies

— 9 a.m. May 4 at Beeghly Center 

— Speaker: William Brown, former executive director of the National Registry of EMTs

Bitonte College of Health and Human Services

— 1 p.m. May 4 at Beeghly Center

— Speaker: Joseph Mosca, former dean of BCHHS

College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

— 5 p.m. May 4 at Beeghly Center 

— Speaker: Christopher Allen, director of Talent Management at Vallourec USA

Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Education

— 9 a.m. May 5 at Beeghly Center

— Speaker: Ashley Anderson, United Nations communications officer 

Williamson College of Business Administration

— 1 p.m. May 5 at Beeghly Center

— Speaker: Dexter Caffrey, CEO and founder of Smart Eye Technology

Cliffe College of Creative Arts

— 5 p.m. May 5 in Ford Theater of Bliss Hall

— Speaker: Larry Davis, former executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering