Life After Guilford: Let the commencement preparations commence

Seniors: you are about to graduate and become a part of the real world. Are you ready?
Even though the semester seems like it has barely started, it is already time to prepare for graduation. Commencement is just around the corner, and events this month will get the ball rolling.
“This is the first series of events leading up to graduation,” said Associate Dean for Campus Life Tammy Alt. “It’s the kickoff for all senior celebrations.”
On Monday, Feb. 13, seniors can enjoy a meal prepared by faculty and staff at the annual Homecookin’ for Seniors event at New Garden Friends Meeting.
“Homecookin’ for Seniors is just fun, it’s nice, it’s casual,” said Alt. “It’s our way of saying, ‘hey, come eat dinner, we want to celebrate with you.’”
On Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Thursday, Feb. 16, Founders will hold the annual Grad 101 Fair, with tables of information for graduating seniors. At the graduation fair, you can pre-order your graduation regalia, announcements and class ring, talk to the registrar, find information on the alumni association and more.
Already having your regalia and invitations ordered will lead to a stress-free graduation experience in May. The class rings and personalized invitations are sold through Josten’s, though the bookstore will have generic invitations available in packs of five after the fair.
The caps and gowns will also be available for pre-order and will be delivered to the bookstore for pickup. And, as sales associate Christina Summers said, “any slackers can also buy their caps and gowns (in the bookstore) after the grad fair.”
A new development for graduating seniors and alumni is the myGuilford site. MyGuilford allows alumni to set up a personal profile, connect with classmates, share pictures and class notes, and look up events and job openings. According to Jamie Barnett, administrative assistant in Alumni Relations, the site went live for everyone in January and seniors are encouraged to join as soon as possible.
“We like for graduating seniors to begin thinking in terms of being alumni,” said Barnett. “You are a student for four years, but an alum your whole life.”
After months of waiting, it will be time to graduate in early May. Graduates are not required to attend the Baccalaureate Ceremony on May 4, but must attend rehearsal on May 4 and Commencement on May 5 if they intend to walk.
“The big thing for seniors to remember is to know the schedule,” Alt said. “You need to know where to be on (May) fourth and fifth.”
Commencement is usually held on the quad in front of King Hall, but if there is rain, the commencement activities will be moved into Ragan-Brown Field House. According to Alt, a rain call will be made by rehearsal and graduates will be given tickets for their family and friends. Tickets are not necessary if Commencement is held outside.
This year’s Commencement speaker, chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students, will be Patti Digh ‘82. The author of “Life is a Verb,” Digh embodies Guilford’s core values through her encouraging work.
“I’m interested to hear what (Digh) has to say,” said senior Elijah DaCosta, who served as a student representative on the committee last spring. “We think she will have a great message for the Guilford community and the student body.”
With classes, work and extracurriculars taking up your time, Commencement may be the last thing on your mind. It seems like there is a lot to keep track of, but all you need to do is “make sure you are cleared to graduate, get your cap and gown and be (at Commencement) on time,” Alt said.
So, seniors, as you prepare for your life after Guilford, don’t forget to prepare for those last golden minutes of life at Guilford.