Expo prepares graduating seniors

Students order caps and gowns, begin transition out of college

Senior Dan Jacobson (right) seeks advice at the Spring Grad Expo on Thursday at the Loading Dock. Photo by Shae Bonifacio/The Dakota Student.

The Spring Graduation Expo — the one-stop event to help seniors get ready for graduation — was held Thursday at the Loading Dock.

Director of Ceremonies and University Events, Fred Wittmann, helped in the planning of the Spring Graduation Expo and graduation ceremonies.

“The Spring Grad Expo is the time when we invite all of the eligible graduates coming up on May 17 to come into the Union,” Wittmann said. “They have a chance to check in with the Registrar’s Office, verify their degree posting, check the spelling on their name for accuracy and connects with the bookstore, the Alumni Association, Career Services, with the photographers and other kinds of vendors and services connected with the ceremony.”

Prospective Spring graduates used the Expo to explore options within the School of Graduate Studies, and they used Career Services to help in their job searches.

Senior accounting major Nate Rich attended the Spring Graduation Expo and made sure his name was accurately spelled on his diploma.

The Expo also gives graduates the chance to order their commencement attire through the university’s bookstore.
“My high school graduation gown is the same color as the UND gown, so I will be using that one,” Rich said. “I did order a cap, and I also plan to order a frame for my diploma.”

UND’s Alumni Association booth offered services for new graduates and provided ways to stay connected with UND after graduation. The expo also offered ways to help students manage their finances and transition into life after graduation.

Aside from visiting the Spring Graduation Expo, seniors need to take several steps to be eligible for graduation.

“A number of things that deal with financial aid with making sure that all of the appropriate and needed classes are done, a lot of it has to deal with the academics of course,” Wittmann said.

Seniors must turn in their graduation applications to the Registrar’s Office by February 11.

“I had to first turn in my application for graduation,” Rich said. “After that, I had to wait for my transcript to be audited, and then I received a letter thanking me for applying that also had many important dates that I needed to know about graduating.”

Attending the ceremony is not mandatory, but it’s expected that most, if not all, of the Spring graduates will take part.

“The final number for graduates last year was about 1,700,” Wittmann said. “The number for this has already surpassed that.”

Spring Commencement will be held May 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the Alerus Center.

“Now it’s just a waiting process,” Rich said. “I’m hoping to finish out strong.”

Adele Kieger is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].