NEW BRITAIN - The Central Connecticut State University Class of 2018 commencement ceremony will take place this Saturday, May 19, at the XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza.
The graduation will be divided into two ceremonies.
The ceremony for undergraduate and graduate school candidates from the Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Engineering, Science & Technology is at 9 a.m.
The ceremony for undergraduate and graduate school candidates from the School of Business and the School of Education and Professional Studies is at 3 p.m.
Janice Palmer, spokeswoman for CCSU, said one of the challenges in having one graduate ceremony on campus and one undergraduate ceremony at the XL center was because Kaiser Hall, where the graduate ceremony was held last year, is under construction. The ceremony had outgrown Welte Auditorium, she said, and the school wanted to avoid limiting graduates to two guest tickets.
The guest speaker for the morning ceremony is Sue Ann Collins, a senior vice president and chief actuary at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
Collins will also be awarded the President’s Medal for her community efforts.
The guest speaker for the afternoon ceremony is Charles T. Fote, who was CEO and chairman of First Data Corp., a processor of credit and debit card transactions.
A CCSU attendee from 1969 to 1971, Fote will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his support of the CCSU School of Business.
President Zulma Toro will preside over the ceremonies. She will be joined at both ceremonies by Graduate Student Association President Jennifer LaVoie, a Bristol resident, and Undergraduate Class President Sedina Begic, a Wethersfield resident. The two will give brief remarks.
Some 2,800 graduate and undergraduate diplomas will be awarded, with each ceremony expected to run about two and a half hours. Ninety-five percent of the graduating students are Connecticut residents, and the graduates represent 31 states and 23 countries. Four hundred and fourteen undergraduates are graduating with cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude distinction.
No tickets are required for admission and there is no limit to the number of guests per graduate, according to the university’s commencement webpage, www2.ccsu.edu/commencement/. There is no assigned seating and ushers will be available to assist with seating.
All guests must enter the XL Center through the Trumbull Street entrance and will be required to pass through a security screening. No backpacks or large handbags will be allowed and some handbags may be searched.
Guests with physical disabilities may identify themselves to an XL center usher for assistance and sections for guests who use mobility devices will be reserved. A sign language interpreter will be present. For TTY hearing impaired reservations, call 860-549-7706. For more ADA questions, call 860-249-7528.
Public parking garages and a lot next to the XL Center will be open for parking at the driver’s expense. Hartford police will be on hand to provide safety and traffic control assistance. CTfastrak is also available, with schedule and routes available on cttransit.com/services/ctfastrak.
No alcoholic beverage possession or consumption in the XL Center is allowed. Alcohol containers will be confiscated and anyone violating the policy will be denied admission.
The XL Center reserves the right to remove any guest or participant for inappropriate behavior, according to the commencement webpage. Respect for all graduates and guests by silencing electronic devices and remaining seated until the ceremony concludes, is asked by the webpage.
“Commencement is a day in your academic life you’ll remember forever,” the webpage reads. “Don’t miss it!”
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.