NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Due to a high number of expected graduates of Stephen F. Austin State University this spring, the May 11 commencement exercises will be split into two ceremonies for the first time.

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. May 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," according to Monique Cossich, executive director of enrollment management.

"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 spring 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."

Currently, there are no plans to split the August or December graduation ceremonies, Cossich said. The structure of future May graduation activities will be determined on a case-by-case basis, according to the number of students expected to participate.

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