NSights Blog

Commencement: A special time, made more special through the hard preparatory work of many

Facilities Maintenance Services, along with a host of many others, help bring beauty and safety to the Commencement setting

Commencement is a very special time for students - in fact, it is arguably the most important event in their college career.

Graduating seniors are finally able to celebrate their four years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, by gathering with friends and family to walk the stage and receive their diplomas. It is a day full of proud memories that students should be able to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Commencement is also one of the largest and most important events for University staff and faculty as well - especially so for us at Facilities Services.

Preparation for Spring Commencement starts as early as February, when Admissions & Records begins meeting to discuss and plan for the upcoming event; this is also when Facilities Services begin to prepare. A task as large as Spring Commencement requires a great deal of coordination between the many departments involved, such as: the Grounds Team, Electrical, Carpentry Shop, Moving Team, Plumbers, the administrative Office Staff, Painters, Fleet Services, and additional hired assistance.

For months leading up to Commencement, the teams at Facilities Maintenance Services (FMS) are hard at work; and each team has their own set of responsibilities to manage. The grounds workers reseed the grass, clean the roads, and keep campus sparkling. The painters apply fresh coats of paint and sealant to the sidewalks, red zone curbs, and benches all around campus. The FMS team also grinds the sidewalks and curbs, to prevent tripping and falling.

Safety is an issue that we at the University handle with utmost importance. In the early morning hours before Commencement, University Police teams work with the University staff to conduct bomb sweeps in and around the Quad, Lawlor Events Center, and surrounding buildings. Campus Police as well, as additional hired security, are in attendance at Commencement to ensure the safety and well-being of the graduating students and their families.

If you're reading this and wondering what you can do to help with Commencement, I will leave you with this advice: If you are a graduating student or a family member, know where you are seated ahead of time, and show up early. There is a lot of excitement and confusion going around on graduation day, and it is important to plan ahead so you can avoid any last-minute mistakes. There are also many organizations on-campus that work together with FMS and Admissions & Records to run Commencement; so if you really enjoy the festivities, or just want a taste of what lies ahead for you undergraduates, find an organization to volunteer with.

Scot Kozlowski