Thursday, October 3, 2013

Graduation Day Planning

by Jennifer, Darrell, Julie and Anita
Things You Need To Know About Graduation

Graduation is a busy time, not only for the graduate, but for his/her family as well. Here are a few tips to minimize the stress and help make your son or daughter's graduation an exciting experience for everyone.

*      Start NOW planning a headcount of your relatives and friends you would like in attendance.

*      Make dinner reservations EARLY if you plan to go out to dinner after the ceremony.

*      Make hotel reservations EVEN EARLIER!
Call to make reservations no later than before May 26, 2013.  Discounted rates will be available if you call before May 26, 2013, from the following Duluth hotels: 
Country Inn & Suites
4257 Haines Road
Duluth, MN 55811
(218) 740-4500
301  East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 733-5660
 Inn on Lake Superior
350 Canal Park Drive
Duluth, Minnesota 55802
(218)726-1111 or (888) 668-4352
*      Parking
There is plenty of parking at the DECC in the ramp and its skywalk connects to downtown Duluth.  A daily pass for a regular vehicle can be purchased at the parking booth for $5.00, and guests receive a ticket for re-entry all day. There is also surface parking.

*      Seating
Arrive early at the DECC/Amsoil Arena. Seating is not a problem, but you will want to get there early and save seats.  You may also want to bring items to save seats.  If you have family arriving separately, arrange to meet ahead of time if you want to sit together. It is very difficult to find family after the ceremony.

Grandparents:  There is plenty of handicapped parking right outside the DECC and in the parking ramp. It is a long walk from Amsoil Arena to the reception. This may prove to be challenging for the elderly.

*      Graduate Seating
All the graduates are on the floor of Amsoil Arena with the stage at one end.  Scope out the arena for the best seat to see your graduate.  Graduates walk in and out on one side of the arena.  Undergraduates walk in first with the Doctoral students last. Undergrads are announced in alphabetical order, not by major.

Once the graduate arrives at the Arena, you will not be able to see him/her until after the ceremony. They line up in the DECC Arena where no one other than the graduates can access. They then walk in line to Amsoil Arena.

*      Be prepared
Graduation lasts about 3 hours. Keep this in mind if you are bringing little kids or the elderly. Concessions are sold in the concourse.  Bring a book.

*      After the ceremony
There is a reception, but it is difficult to meet up with the graduate. It is even more difficult to get to the reception with an elderly relative. Your best bet is to have an arranged meeting place and time, perhaps at a restaurant.

*      Ask the graduate what he/she wants to do.  Does the graduate want to spend time with classmates at the reception and meet up with family later at a restaurant?  Faculty will be present as well; your graduate may want to say thanks and/or good-bye to them. Maybe the graduate wants to skip the friends and just be with family.

*      Pictures
This is a perfect time for family pictures.  There is a professional photographer at the ceremony. The pictures are excellent and PROFESSIONAL!  Take advantage of this. Your graduate will get information on how to purchase these and how to preview the proofs. There are multiple shots to choose from and multiple packages. You may also want to set up a place and time for family pictures (say outside with the Arial Lift Bridge in the background).

*      Dress Code for Parents at the Ceremony
You will see a variety of dress; your best bet is business casual.  This is a large arena; you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket to put on if needed.

*      BE FLEXIBLE! HAVE FUN! This only happens once for the graduate. Take it all in. It is an experience that you and your graduate will never forget!

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