The fall class of 2013 will receive their diplomas at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, but the spring commencement will likely be held outdoors.
Construction crews are expected to begin work on a $45 million renovation of the coliseum this spring. Plans are already underway to make the spring ceremony an outdoors occasion.
“The only things I can say with complete confidence at this point is the day of commencement is Saturday, May 10, 2013,” said Margaret Kelly, executive director of community projects, who oversees the university’s special events such as Commencement.
Kelly said many details of spring gradation are still under discussion, and there are only a few she knows that are set in stone.
Kelly also said spring commencement would be one big ceremony instead of two to keep students out of the heat. The commencement will also take place at Amon G. Carter Stadium on the football field.
It’s not carved in stone at this point, but the thought is the commencement would start at about 9 a.m., which would keep everyone out of the heat of the day and end around 12:30 or 1 p.m.,” Kelly said.
Seniors, who expect to graduate in the spring, are questioning the prospect of an outdoor commencement.
“I feel like that’s ridiculous. And only one ceremony?” said Kenya Nelson, senior social work major. “No one wants to stay there for that long. I think that’s a bit absurd.”
Kelly said she checked with Fort Worth to see if the convention center arena was available, but it’s already booked.
Nickie Vogt, a senior English major, said her high school graduated on a football field and whether the graduations are in the morning or night, it’s not enjoyable, especially in Texas and in May.
“Taking graduation pictures immediately after receiving our diplomas is not going be good for anyone,” Vogt said.
Vogt said the football field is the obvious choice, but she feels like there’s somewhere else in Fort Worth with a big auditorium.
“I don’t know where the perfect place is, but I don’t think it’s the football stadium, as beautiful as it is,” she said.
The details of the commencement that will take place for roughly 1,500 to 1,600 students are still being worked out, Kelly said.
“There is no other place that is large enough to accommodate us, so I visited with the chancellor, provosts and the whole committee of people that work with me on commencement,” Kelly said.
There are a lot of details and a lot of things to work out, she said.
“I’m going to have lots of meetings at the stadium and walk-throughs, and I’m going to say probably at the end of January I’ll have a better idea, and there will be more details,” Kelly said.