By Thea O’Dell
The countdown has begun: six weeks until graduation. However there’s a crucial step students have to take before walking across that stage ” buying the necessary graduation items.
The Grad Fair for both soon-to-be bachelor’s and master’s graduates was held inside the Bronco Bookstore atrium, and the turnout for the estimated 5,000 to 6,000 graduates was well-received for both days.
Vendors had various discounts exclusive to the fair and ranged from graduation ceremony accessories including cords and hoods, Commencement parking passes, alumni clothing and gifts, caps and gowns, diploma frames, class rings, announcements and even flower arrangements for the day of the ceremony.
While Grad Fair is always highly regarded as a valued convenience for graduating students, it has also become regaled as a time for students and parents or loved ones to come together and partake in the traditions of graduation.
“It truly gets them excited after being at school for four or five years and finishing their higher education,” said Janeth Rodriguez, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. “They get that thrill and you can just see that they feel proud, and their parents do too. It’s just a great moment for everyone involved in this life event.”
The fair had its doors open to all Commencement candidates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 21 and Wednesday. The number of friends, families and of course, students were in steady abundance, serving more than half of the estimated graduates over the course of the two days.
“You honestly can’t beat the convenience of this all-in-one service that also just so happens to be on-campus,” said McKenna Whipp, a fifth-year communications student. “I was able to order announcements and pick up all of my other necessities with my mom accompanying me amongst all of the excitement. It’s a great build-up to graduation.”
Companies that were readily available for all commencement needs included Jostens for announcements and class rings, Studio 94 Photography for senior portraits, Apple for any post-graduation electronic and smart device needs and GraduationDayFlowers for bouquets and leis. The Bookstore was also offering “Grad Packs,” included the cap, gown, CPP t-shirt and sweatshirt, tassel, sash and diploma frame.
The Grad Fair is also important for the staff running it.
“Graduation is quite an event and it still feels good to be a part of it and know that you helped bring this all together,” said Clint Aase, The Bookstore’s managing and services director. “Part of the value in being a participant in the educational services of these accomplished individuals is being able to see Commencement successfully come together, as well as see the achievement on everyone’s faces as they take their steps across that stage with a huge sense of accomplishment. You just can’t beat it.”
Students who missed the Grad Fair can still buy regalia.
The bookstore will be selling the graduation necessities and offering a majority of the other services until Commencement weekend.
Leanna Ahmed / The Poly Post
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