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Changes are set for commencement weekend

Seniors at Ohio Northern University are doing one of two things: counting down until graduation or panicking because it is rapidly approaching. Either way, the knowledge that Commencement is coming up is in the back of each senior's mind.

This year, Pharmacy and Undergraduate Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 11. Law students will graduate on May 18. This is the first year that Pharmacy and Undergrad ceremonies, while still on the same day, will take place at separate times. 

Though all other weekend activities will be joined, the Pharmacy Commencement and Hooding Ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. in the Field House in King Horn. The undergraduate ceremonies will also take place in the Field House, but will begin at 2 p.m. 

Rehearsals are also timed separately; Pharmacy will rehearse at 3 p.m. and undergraduates will rehearse at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

Ann Hamilton, Executive Assistant to the President, explained that this will be a positive change for ONU. "[Pharmacy students], in a sense, had two ceremonies," she explained. Since the Hooding took place at an earlier time than the Commencement, the Pharmacy graduates and their families had to sit through two ceremonies at different times of the day. Now, both ceremonies will be combined into one.

President Daniel DiBiasio commented on the separation of the ceremonies, saying, "There were several reasons why the Pharmacy College requested that Pharmacy hooding and the awarding of degrees be combined into a ceremony separate from undergraduate commencement.  

They include time efficiency for each ceremony, more adequate seating for both Pharmacy and undergraduate families and recognition that a doctoral level degree is conferred. 

In addition, a separate commencement is consistent with the norm in many Pharmacy programs nationwide, and it would obviously benefit ONU students and their families. For all of these reasons, I approved the request."

Hamilton went on to explain another positive point: no ticket limit. "Since we pulled [the ceremonies] apart, there's no limited amount of seats," she said. 

"They've worked the numbers, and it shouldn't be a problem for all guests to be seated comfortably and appropriately."

Despite the separate ceremonies, all graduates are invited to attend the rest of the Commencement Weekend activities together. This includes an Ice Cream Social at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, which is a new tradition begun as a casual time for graduates by President and First Lady DiBiasio. 

Graduates and their families are also invited to the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., the President's Dinner at 6 p.m. on Saturday and the Commencement Buffet from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

Tickets are required for the dinner and buffet. Graduating students will be provided with complimentary food services during graduation weekend. 

For more information on Commencement Weekend, visit the link at the bottom of the ONU website. 

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