More students interested in walking at May 16 ceremony

Today's Sun-Star article about the ticketing process for UC Merced’s commencement brought to my attention a very interesting issue workers there are facing: the increased number of students that are not receiving diplomas in May, but now electing to walk in the ceremony.


This is nothing new in higher education, and walking at a time other than your official graduation date is common on many campuses (several of my friends did this at the University of Illinois). At UC Merced, students who graduated last fall, or will graduate at the end of this summer or next fall, are all eligible to walk in the May 16 ceremony – a normal time period for this sort of thing.


The difference in this instance is that the announcement of commencement speaker has caused the influx of applications. And that the confirmation of the speaker came with relatively short notice. A UC Merced spokeswoman yesterday told me that the registrar’s office has been quite busy evaluating whether each of the newly interested students is indeed eligible for graduate.


Anyone out there recently make this decision? Was the Obama speech your primary motivation?