FGCU Returns to In-Person Commencement Ceremonies This Fall

EN+photo+provided+by+Julia+Bonavita.+

EN photo provided by Julia Bonavita.

Hayley Lemery, Assignment and Features Editor

Florida Gulf Coast University is returning to in-person commencement graduation ceremonies since the pandemic for fall 2022 graduates. FGCU’s Commencement Team alerted the student body through an email on Aug. 1. 

Since COVID-19 hit, FGCU has held four Grad Walk’s in replacement of traditional ceremonies. This gave graduates the opportunity to sign up for a time slot to have their name and degree announced and to walk across the commencement stage with six invited guests in the audience. 

“All summer 2022 graduates are invited to walk in the fall ceremonies,” said the email from the commencement team. 

Registration will open in September, and more details will be announced closer to the event. The ceremonies will be held on Dec. 17 and 18 in the Alico Arena. 

When last semester’s Grad Walk was announced, students voiced concerns and comments that FGCU President Michael Martin addressed. 

“It’s not forever, but the Grad Walk concept is one of the good things that came from a very troubling and humbling time in our history. No approach we take will satisfy everyone, that is clear,” said President Marin on Mar. 2 in a student-wide email. 

The email stated that FGCU was having issues with holding commencement ceremonies at Alico Arena because there were more graduates than space. In addition, guests tended to arrive early and stay late, which made parking and travelling difficult when back-to-back ceremonies were held. 

“Before COVID hit, we were trying to schedule our commencements offsite at larger facilities, such as Hertz Arena, CenturyLink Sports Complex and JetBlue Park… We continue to search out these options. Ideally, we see ourselves moving to a commencement that includes one or two large-scale events off-campus, with smaller diploma celebrations planned by each college,” said President Martin in that same email. 

As we’re still in the pandemic, decisions about graduation commencements are being made as each semester comes.