NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Due to a high number of expected graduates of Stephen F. Austin State University this fall, the Dec. 14 commencement exercises will be split into two ceremonies for the second time this year.

Graduates from SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts will participate in a 9:30 a.m. ceremony that Saturday. Candidates from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, and the College of Sciences and Mathematics will participate in a 2 p.m. ceremony.

Master's and doctoral candidates will graduate with their respective colleges, and both ceremonies will be held in William R. Johnson Coliseum. December graduates will be provided more specific information about the graduation ceremonies in separate communications.

"As a result of recruiting and retention efforts across campus coupled with statewide initiatives to produce more college graduates, SFA has been experiencing an increase in the number of successful students persisting to graduation for the last several years," said Monique Cossich, executive director of enrollment management.

The SFA commencement exercises were split for the first time in recent history in May when a record-breaking 1,285 students earned SFA degrees. The structure of future graduation activities will be determined on a case-by-case basis, according to the number of students expected to participate, Cossich said.

"A large percentage of SFA students are the first in their families to graduate from college, and it is important to the administration that we not do anything to limit the number of proud friends and family members who are able attend this important milestone in our students' lives," she said.

"Holding two separate commencement ceremonies for fall graduation will ensure that all of our graduates' guests feel welcome and comfortable at this special occasion. As always, we also want to encourage the entire SFA family and the Nacogdoches community to attend the celebration of our students' success."

For more information about December 2013 graduation ceremonies, please email Cossich at