Feb. 3, 2015
Dear UNT community,
When I took part in my first commencement at UNT last May, I was impressed with the ceremonies, but I knew we could better honor our graduates. Graduation is a defining moment for students because it is when you start wearing the mantle of college graduate — and all that it means. A whole new world of opportunity opens up for you and the sky is the limit.
We want commencement to truly reflect how momentous this milestone is for you and your families and friends who share in your pride and achievement. As you likely know, UNT is starting new commencement traditions this year, holding a University-wide Commencement at Apogee Stadium to celebrate the entire graduating class for the academic year. This event will feature a nationally prominent speaker to inspire our graduates and celebrations throughout the evening. As the presiding official, I will confer degrees, formally recognizing the class of 2015 as graduates of UNT. Graduates will be surrounded by thousands of proud family, friends and members of the UNT community, and the event will be full of fanfare and excitement.
Since making the announcement, I’ve heard your questions and concerns that we’re doing away with traditions that graduates and their families look forward to, such as walking the stage. I want to assure you that we are not eliminating those elements. We still plan individual recognition ceremonies, and hope that by adding new traditions and elevating the pomp and circumstance of commencement that you will all appreciate it as the life-changing experience it is.
We’ve created undergraduate college recognition ceremonies and a doctoral and master’s convocation with doctoral and master of fine arts hooding. At these ceremonies, graduates will hear their name called. They’ll walk the stage and shake the hands with proud university administration. Their family and friends can get that prized photo of them in this moment.
The new commencement format combines the best of both worlds — celebrations as a singular community and more personal, traditional celebrations. Each graduation event has unique features for graduates and their guests to enjoy, and we want graduates to attend both sets of events so they enjoy the full spectrum of graduation.
With these changes, we’re bringing new meaning and prominence to commencement. We don’t want graduation to mark the end of your connection to UNT; we want it to mark the beginning of a lifelong affiliation with us as proud alumni. The new University-wide Commencement will bring us together to celebrate this transformation as a UNT family — forever proud, forever united.