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First winter graduation for ISU students

isu grads march through the arch

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho State University is hosting its first ever winter commencement ceremony on Saturday.

More than 250 students will receive degrees and certificates at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 in Holt Arena.

“We’re hoping that this will help make commencement a little bit shorter in the spring,” said Libby Howe, ISU's commencement coordinator.

ISU is hoping to revamp the way graduation is done. Traditionally, ISU holds one ceremony in the spring for all the colleges, which can last hours.

“I remember commencements from years ago that were well over three hours,” Howe said.

That's a big time commitment for families with young children and can discourage student participation, Howe said.

“It’s going to be much shorter. We’re looking at like an hour and fifteen minutes for the entire ceremony. It’s possible it could even be about an hour,” Howe said.

Those looking to graduate in the spring can expect new traditions, too.

“In the spring, we are totally changing everything. We’re breaking it out into two different ceremonies by college,” Howe said.

Half the students will graduate in the morning while the rest graduate in the afternoon, which is practiced by many universities across the country.

Another big change will be for master's students. Howe said that there are too many discrepancies in how students are hooded when they graduate.

“A college would have a beautiful ceremony and they’d get hooded, and some would get handed their hood in a hallway and told ‘congratulations,’” Howe said.

From now on, ISU will hood master's students on stage during their ceremony.

“We want to make it so that the students want to come and they feel honored and they can recognize that moment that they’ve worked so hard for so many years,” Howe said.

The traditional "March through the Arch" will be held at noon on Dec. 13 at the Swanson Arch.

“It is exciting for our winter graduates to now be able to take part in this beloved Idaho State University tradition,” said Allyson Johnson, special events coordinator for the ISU Office of Marketing and Communications.

The "March through the Arch" tradition started in 2000. A spirited ceremony takes place each fall when new students pass through the arch southward into campus. In December and May, graduates look to the future by passing northward back through the arch symbolizing their exit from the university and entrance into new life adventures.

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Emma Iannacone

Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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