After final exams, UIC holds first December graduation

2015 Commencement - JACSW

About 1,200 undergraduates and 850 graduate students are expected to participate in the December ceremonies. Photo: Joe Compean


The day after she finishes her final exams in three weeks, Yesenia Navarrete will proudly walk onstage to celebrate her graduation as one of the first UIC students to participate in December commencement.

“It’s going to seem more real, graduating literally the day after I finish my last final,” said Navarrete, a senior in psychology.

UIC will host two commencement ceremonies Dec. 11 for students who graduate after summer and fall semester. In past years, UIC has hosted a week of commencement events in May to honor all graduating students.

“We hope this new tradition will allow more graduates to share in the excitement of commencement and give every student an opportunity to walk across the stage and mark this milestone in their lives,” said UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis.

“Our students work hard to earn their degrees and it’s important that we recognize their achievements, and allow them and their families to take pride in their accomplishments before they begin their journey to success.”

About 1,200 undergraduates and 850 graduate students are expected to participate in December commencement, said Kevin Scheibler, director of the UIC Pavilion. Students can register for December commencement ceremonies through Nov. 30.

Two ceremonies Dec. 11 at UIC Pavilion: Graduate College at 2 p.m., undergraduate colleges at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a great idea that the chancellor had,” Scheibler said, explaining that students who graduate in summer or December are less likely to participate in May events.

“It’s a great way to celebrate the students who have spent at least four years here learning.”

The Graduate College commencement begins at 2 p.m. in the UIC Pavilion. The undergraduate ceremony follows at 7:30 p.m. for the colleges of Applied Health Sciences; Architecture, Design and the Arts; Business Administration; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Urban Planning and Public Affairs; Education; and Engineering.

Field Museum President and CEO Richard Lariviere will speak at the Graduate College commencement. Kevin Lynch, vice president of technology at Apple Inc., is commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony.

Navarrete, an intern in UIC Campus Programs, is helping organize Forever Flames events for graduating students. Students celebrated with discounted tickets for a Chicago Bulls game Friday and two more events are planned Nov. 23: a Grad Finale to order graduation photos, frames and more; and a Grad Toast celebrating students’ accomplishments.

“We started Forever Flames last year and it was a great time,” Navarrete said.

Although she’s excited about graduation, Navarette is a little unsure about what happens next.

“That’s a good question,” she said. “I may go to grad school. I may look for a job within a university in student affairs. I’m just going to see what is offered.”

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