UPDATE: IU Southeast commencement ceremonies rescheduled, school by school


Aprile Rickert

IU Southeast commencement ceremonies have been rescheduled for next week, according to a letter from Interim Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer.

There will be a ceremony for each school, Monday through Friday evening, all taking place indoors in Stem Hall of the Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center at IU Southeast at 6:30 p.m., with overflow viewing in Robinson Hall.

In an e-mail Thursday, Bichelmeyer said although the original ceremony, which was scheduled for Monday, May 12, did not go as planned due to unexpected severe weather, she has hopes that the alternate ceremonies can be meaningful to graduates and their guests.

“My hope is that everyone who wants to attend will join us,” Bichelmeyer said. “I so very much want this to be a great experience for our students and their families. We are doing our best and having faith that it will work out well for all.”

She said the ceremonies will have the same elements as the original that was planned for May 12, with the exception of the Distinguished Alumni Award presentation and speech, given by Douglas B. Bates, Bichelmeyer said. President McRobbie will not be in attendance, as he will be out of the country, but a special recorded message from him will be played. Bichelmeyer will preside over each ceremony.

Bichelmeyer said since there will be school-level ceremonies, she believes there will be plenty of space for graduates and their invited guests.

“Because the group of graduates for each night will be smaller, we will have an opportunity to be more informal,” Bichelmeyer said. Graduates will have the opportunity to walk across the stage in cap and gown, have photos taken and introduce their friends and family to faculty. They will also be given a special gift.

“I realize this can in no way make up for what we all missed with the full celebration, but it is our best effort to set things right for those who can attend,” Bichelmeyer said.

She said each graduate will be fitted in a gown for the ceremony, and then line up for the processional.

“When they return the robe after the ceremony, they will receive their gift and a red cover for their diploma, if they have not already received one,” She said. “Students should remember to bring their caps and tassels, and honor cords and stoles if they have them.”

Bichelmeyer said that due to Monday’s events, next year’s commencement ceremony will be held indoors at an off-campus facility that will hold all invited guests and provide shelter from harsh weather.

“This will ensure that in future our graduates have a worthy celebration,” Bichelmeyer said.

Bichelmeyer said although the weather situation Monday that caused the ceremony to be canceled was unexpected, she hopes the rescheduled ones will give graduates a chance to be properly honored.

“Commencement events did not unfold at all in the way any of us hoped, though our response to the situation has shown that there is a strong team of people here who truly care about and are supportive of each other, as a team our first priority is to serving others, we have a can-do spirit and a powerful commitment to this campus,” Bichelmeyer said. “It continues to be a joy for me, even in the midst of a most challenging situation, to work with students, faculty, staff and administration of IU Southeast.”

For all ceremonies, doors will open at 5 p.m. Graduates will line up at 6 p.m. and at 6:30, ceremonies begin.

List according to school:

Monday, May 19, Social Sciences and General Studies

Tuesday, May 20, School of Business

Wednesday, May 21, School of Nursing and School of Natural Sciences

Thursday, May 22, School of Education

Friday, May 23, School of Arts and Letters

A reception will follow each ceremony in the lobby of the Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center.

For more information, visit https://www.ius.edu/commencement/ or email questions to sechan@ius.edu.