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Senior Sun Devils react to change in venue for spring commencement ceremony

Construction on the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe continues on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016.
Construction on the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe continues on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016.

Many students dream of the day when they get to sit on the football field at Sun Devil Stadium and soak up their last few moments of being a Sun Devil undergraduate student beneath the stadium lights.

However, that won’t be the scene at this year’s ceremony due to a change in venue for the May commencement ceremony.

The current renovations at the Sun Devil stadium have pushed the annual ceremony to Chase Field this year, making it the first time in ASU history that a graduation ceremony has been moved off campus.

Chase Field is one of the biggest facilities in the Valley, able to accommodate the large crowds that normally attend a spring commencement ceremony, ASU spokesperson Herminia Rincon said.

“We anticipate a crowd of about 24,000 graduates and guests, typical for a spring commencement ceremony,” Rincon wrote in an email. “Chase is able to accommodate an audience of this size.”

Although the spring commencement ceremony is an exciting time for many Sun Devils, some seniors are not looking forward to having the ceremony at Chase Field. Psychology senior Lacey Saucer said the move to Chase Field makes it more complicated.

“I'm pretty upset that it's so far away from campus because it makes it harder for my non-campus friends to come and support me and complicated for me as well,” Saucer said.

Saucer said Sun Devil Stadium holds a rich history and tradition when it comes to graduation, adding she's disappointed that she won’t be able to walk on the stadium field once last time as an undergrad.

“I've gone to the last three commencements, and I love the tradition at Sun Devil Stadium with Sparky and the fireworks, especially as someone who has been to every football game in the last four years and have watched friends and family graduate here,” Saucer said.

Sustainability and earth and environmental studies senior Phillip Moore said he had been looking forward to graduating at Sun Devil Stadium but understands the issue at hand. 

“It’s interesting," Moore said. "I was looking forward to graduating at Sun Devil Stadium but I understand that there is construction. (Traffic) might be an issue because there's so many students in the Phoenix metro area." 

Related links:

The five stages of college graduation

Graduates: drink up

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