This memorandum is intended to provide you with essential information for your graduation activities. HPU has not scheduled a graduation practice this year. This memorandum and accompanying information will be your only source of information. Please read it carefully.
Drs. Crofton and Schneid begin serving as Assistant Faculty Marshals this year. The Junior Marshals (JMs) have been selected. They will assist you with the lineup and seating both Friday night at the Baccalaureate service and Saturday morning at Graduation. You can identify the JMs by their costume. All will have white and purple sashes with the women wearing white dresses and the men wearing dark jackets and slacks with a white shirt and dark tie. All of us are dedicated to help make your graduation great.
Certainly you have picked up your graduation gear from the Book Store. If not, please do so quickly. You must have the proper graduation gear to participate in our graduation activities. Drs. Crofton and Schneid plus the JMs and I will help you with the hood and cap Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
Remember you must have tickets for the Baccalaureate service and for the indoor Graduation ceremony, if weather dictates an indoor service Saturday morning. The school’s webpage provides information on how and where to obtain these tickets. Please follow this outline and get the tickets for which you qualify.
All graduation activities are celebratory. It is a great time and a time to recognize achievement. Drs. Crofton and Schneid, the JMs, and I are privileged to be a part of your graduation. Help us make it what it can be. Please recall that we do not have a graduation for 800+ people but 800+ graduations. Each of you must respect others and how they intend to celebrate graduation. Permit me to remind you that HPU is a smoke free campus and this fact extends to graduation activities. No oversized cigars or any smoking materials are permitted during the graduation activities. Similarly no alcoholic beverages are permitted. No beach balls or other similar items are to be played with and circulated during the Graduation activities Saturday morning. Of course no person would consider said at the religious service Friday afternoon. Permit me to suggest you avoid the use of chewing gum at the time Saturday when you are on the stage and having your official photos made. The photos made then are forever, of course, and one would not want to have one’s eternal photo with an extended jaw, etc. Also, you might want to remove your sunglasses Saturday morning when on the stage and during the official photo opportunity. A dark robe, cap, and sunglasses disguise nearly everyone. Be certain your family and friends know who you are! Please let us know if you are not sufficiently well to make the march and sit in the sun for three hours.
The Baccalaureate service will be held in Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, located at corner of Chestnut and Westchester here in High Point. The service is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. Of course you must be there earlier. Please be at Wesley Memorial no later than 4:30, ideally by 4:15.
We form three separate lines of candidates for both the Baccalaureate service and the Graduation ceremony. The Masters candidates form one line, the BA candidates form one line, and the BS candidates form one line. Moreover, candidates are placed in each line in relation to the date when graduation requirements were met. To illustrate, August 2012 candidates for a BA will come before the December 2012 candidates while the December 2012 candidates come before the May 2013 candidates. Candidates are placed in alphabetical order within each unit of a line. To illustrate, a candidate with a last name starting with “A” will come before a candidate with a last name starting with “Z” in the August 2012 unit of candidates. The JMs assist you both Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in finding your place in the proper line.
The degree candidates follow the faculty in marching order. The Masters candidates are first, the BA candidates second, and the BS candidates third in marching order. Wesley Memorial has a large center aisle and two side aisles. We will process down the center aisle. All of you will sit on the right side of the center aisle. A JM will lead you down the center aisle and show you to the proper pew. You will stay there for the duration of the service. You will exit from your pew to the side aisle on the right side of the church. You will walk up the right side aisle toward the front of the church, pass in front of the pews on the right side of the church, and then exit in the recessional down the larger center aisle. This recessional permits your family and friends to see you and it assures that all candidates have the opportunity to be seen and photographed. Please keep the lines moving! Do not stand at the doorway between the sanctuary and the entry foyer to greet friends and family. Hugs are great but we must keep the lines moving so that all have a dignified recessional consistent with the occasion.
The Baccalaureate service typically lasts a little over an hour, depending on the length of the sermon, the number of special music performances, and how long it takes us to seat the faculty and candidates. We should be out by 6:30 and you are free to leave immediately after your exit from the sanctuary.
Graduation will take place in front of Roberts Hall, weather permitting. It will be in the Millis Gym if weather does not permit an outdoor ceremony. The school’s webpage will let everyone know of the change in venue, if necessary. The ceremony begins at 9:00 but you need to be there no later than 8:15. It takes time to get everyone in their proper place. A part of this process requires the JMs to let the Registrar know if anyone who intended to come has not come and if anyone who informed the Registrar of the intention to take the diploma in absentia decided to come anyway. We very much want to know exactly who is there and who is not there to make the flow of candidates over the stage seamless and dignified. Please help with this expectation.
Candidates will form into the proper line on the Kester Promenade. We used different sidewalks to form the three different candidate lines. (Please see the accompanying chart.) The Masters candidates are on the sidewalk closest to Finch with the head of the line close to the kiosk on the Kester Promenade. The BA candidates line up on the sidewalk next to the one on which the Masters candidates line up. The BA line will extend back toward Philips Hall but shift around to the sidewalk located between Philips and Finch. It will extend back as far as necessary to accommodate all of the candidates. The BS line begins at a designated place on the sidewalk running between the kiosk area and Congdon Hall. The line, a long one, will continue down the sidewalks in front of Congdon toward David Hayworth, stretch back on the sidewalk between Congdon and David Hayworth, and then shift to the sidewalk behind David Hayworth toward Norton. It will extend on that sidewalk as long as necessary to have space enough for everyone.
This year we will use pennants located on 7’ flagpoles, a pennant and pole not unlike that on a golf green, to mark off sections or zones within each line of march. You will be assigned a “zone” for your degree line, based on the time you completed requirements for graduation and the first letter of your last name. Proceed to your zone upon arriving Saturday morning. Ask the JM assigned to that area to assist you in finding your spot in the required alphabetical order for each line. Please stay in your zone. The JMs need to check and recheck each zone to be certain of who is there.
The collection of platform guests, alumni class of 1963, faculty, and students will take longer to sit than the process took the previous evening. Almost everyone comes Saturday morning but many do not come Friday afternoon. Please help us expedite the process by arriving on time, cooperating with the JMs, and taking your seat quickly.
During the march, we will have two columns of students. The BS candidates are on the right side of the sidewalk. The Masters candidates and BA candidates are on the left side of the sidewalk. These two columns will march side by side until we reach the bottom of the steps leading from the traffic circle in front of Wrenn to the lower area in front of Roberts where the ceremony will take place. The BS candidates will turn to the right at the bottom of the steps walking toward Wrenn. This column of students will continue around the sidewalk. The BS candidates are seated on the right facing the platform. The JMs assigned to the BS candidates will seat you in your proper place. Please leave no empty seats! We need to use all of the chairs put in place for each category of candidates. The Masters and BA candidates will turn to the left at the bottom of the steps. The Masters candidates are seated in front of the BA candidates. Ideally, we will seat the Masters and BA candidates simultaneously. Once in your seating area, relax and enjoy the first part of the ceremony.
There is a center aisle or open space between the BS candidates on the right and the Masters and BA candidates on the left, facing the platform. All will leave the seating area to this center open space in the process of moving forward to receive the diploma folder on the platform. You will follow the directions of the JMs as you approach the platform for your diploma, obtain your diploma folder, leave the platform, go to the official photography station, and return to your seats. An entire category of candidates will not go forward at once. Generally only one row at a time will go forward but some of the rows of seats are short so two rows go forward at one time. As you pass from the grassy area to the sidewalk, you will shift to the left of the stage. There one or more JMs will assist you with your robe and cap. You will go up the stairs to the platform when your name is called, receive your diploma folder, shake the hand of Dr. Qubein and, perhaps, our speaker, and then exit down the steps on the right of the stage. The photography station is to the right of the stage, located in front of Smith Library. Commonly there is a line waiting for the photos. After the photography station, you will return to your seating area to await the recessional.
All of us will exit in the recessional on the sidewalk upon which the Masters candidates and BA candidates entered. We will have a single file recessional. In so doing, a family member, wherever they might be seated, can get a photo of you. We will go up the steps and return to the Kester Promenade. Please do all you can to keep the line moving! Every person deserves a meaningful recessional. If the line collapses because of family members stopping a person for hugs or flowers and the like, individuals toward the back of the line will not get a recessional. You are free to leave the line and go about your business once we get to about the point where the lines merged to form the processional line of march.