Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Graduation Day Planning

Things You Need To Know About Graduation by Anita Greden

Graduation will be held May 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., at the DECC Amsoil Arena.  It 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.

*      Get 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.  Discounted rates may be available 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

*      Baccalaureate Mass
Saturday, May 10, 9:30 a.m., in Mitchell Auditorium

*      Parking
o   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.
o   The 3rd floor of the parking ramp is the skyway level.
DECC Parking Ramp link:

*      Seating
o   Seats fill up early.  Arrive 1 hour early at the DECC/Amsoil Arena.  The number of seats is not a problem, but you will want to get there early for the best seats and to get enough seats so your entire party can be together.
o   If you have family arriving separately, arrange to meet ahead of time if you want to sit together.
o   Arrange a meeting place for after the ceremony.  It is very difficult to find family after the ceremony.
o   If you want to avoid stairs, stay on the top floor where there are folding chairs.
o   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 and may 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 2 hours. Keep this in mind if you are bringing little kids or the elderly. Concessions are sold in the concourse.  Bring reading material.

*      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 shirt and tie for men, dress or dress pants for women.  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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