UA commencement at Arizona Stadium for first time in 40 years
The University says it has outgrown McKale Center, so for the first time since the 1970's graduation ceremonies will take place at Arizona Stadium.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For the first time in more than 40 years, students graduating from the University of Arizona will gather at Arizona Stadium to celebrate commencement.
According to a media release from the UA, the last time the event was held at the stadium was 1972. Organizers decided to move the event from McKale Memorial Center back to the football stadium to accommodate a growing crowd.
"We outgrew McKale and we wanted to make sure every graduate had the opportunity for their family and friends to see them graduate in person," said Kasey Urquidez, UA Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions.
UA student enrollment exceeded 40,000 for the first time this year, and retention and graduation rates also are on the rise.
On May 10, school administrators will confer 5,728 undergraduate degrees, 908 master's degrees and four educational specialist degrees.
"I'm super excited, four years in, four years out. I worked my butt off the last few years to get out and start my career," said Chase McGlaughlin, Eller College of Management graduating senior.
Urquidez said she expects Arizona Stadium to become the new home for commencement, adding the celebration at the larger venue will include food trucks in the student staging area and pre-show entertainment for guests, including a photo presentation of graduating students on the big screen.
The commencement speaker will be longtime UA supporter Robert F. Moran, chairman and CEO of PetSmart.
The University's 255 doctoral candidates will be honored at a separate ceremony at Centennial Hall on May 11 at 11 a.m.