Due to a surplus of guests attending graduation at Taco Bell Arena, graduates at Boise State’s 100th Commencement ceremony will walk across the Blue in Albertsons Stadium to receive their degrees on Saturday, May 6 at 10 a.m.
The 10 to 12 thousand seats in the Taco Bell Arena can no longer accommodate all of the family and friends coming to watch the ceremony, prompting the switch to the new venue, according to Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing Greg Hahn. Departments across campus have been collaborating to plan for the first graduation ceremony in the stadium, which will hold approximately three times as many guests as the arena.
“Commencement is always one of my favorite moments, because everybody walks in and everybody is there for (the graduates),” Hahn said. “That’s the first time—unless you’re on the basketball team—you’ve ever walked into Taco Bell Arena and had the crowd there for you.”
Hahn said in previous years, the departments had tried making commencement a ticketed event, with each student having six tickets to give to friends and family. Unfortunately, students did not promptly return tickets they weren’t planning on using. Since ticketing wasn’t successful, other solutions were considered.
With the change in venue, Hahn said it will likely cost more to host, because of the additional staff and security needed, as well as the possible cost associated with buying chairs that won’t harm the turf if it is not covered in a protective layer.
The expected arrangement has positioned graduates on the field, facing the North End Zone, while family and friends watch from the stadium seats. Each student will be displayed on the jumbotron so audience members can see the graduates in detail as they receive their degrees.
According to Hahn, the Convocation tradition to have students form the shape of a “B,” on the blue turf started in the Fall of 2013—the year the members of the Class of 2017 were freshmen. This means students who are graduating in four years will be the first class to both pose on the Blue for Convocation, and graduate on the Blue.
“You can start your journey on the Blue and end it on the Blue,” Hahn said.
The gates to the field will open at 8:30 a.m. the morning of commencement. No tickets are required, as there will be open seating on a first-come, first-seated basis, according to Boise State’s Commencement Web page.