NACOGDOCHES, Texas — For the first time in almost one year, students at Stephen F. Austin State University will be honored for their academic achievements during commencement ceremonies in Johnson Coliseum. To make this possible in a safe manner, the university will host its first-ever slate of five commencement ceremonies – two on Dec. 11 and three on Dec. 12.
To accommodate both physical distancing mandated by COVID-19 concerns and the construction project currently underway at the coliseum, each graduate has been allotted six tickets to provide to their guests.
“We and our students were heartbroken when we had to cancel the May and August ceremonies, so we have been planning for and looking forward to this ceremony for months,” said Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president. “Although the coliseum aesthetics may not be ideal at this time, our safety officers have confirmed that the facility provides adequate access for our guests, even those with accessibility needs.”
Gordon will serve as commencement speaker for each ceremony. The president of SFA since August 2019, Gordon is a native of Malone, New York, and earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Cortland. His master’s degree and doctorate in botany and mycology are from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Previously, Gordon served as Eastern Washington University’s provost and as a dean of the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education at the University of Southern Indiana.
On Friday, the 3 p.m. ceremony will recognize candidates from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, as well as graduates from May and August who requested to participate in the ceremony.
The 6 p.m. ceremony will recognize candidates from the College of Fine Arts and the College of Liberal and Applied Arts.
At 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, candidates from the Rusche College of Business and the Department of Human Services and Educational Leadership will be recognized.
The noon ceremony will recognize candidates from the Department of Education Studies and the School of Human Sciences.
Candidates from the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science will participate in a 3 p.m. ceremony.
Degrees to be awarded include 968 bachelor’s, 122 master’s and three doctoral degrees. More than 275 students will graduate with honors, including 116 cum laude, 78 magna cum laude and 77 summa cum laude. Forty-two will graduate with the university scholar designation.
Children under age 5 do not need a ticket to attend the ceremony. Graduates can reserve guest tickets by completing the commencement registration form emailed to them.
To view the ceremony online, visit facebook.com/sfasu. An account is not required to watch the livestream.