LINCOLN — Despite the cold, rainy forecast, University of Nebraska-Lincoln officials still plan to hold Saturday's undergraduate commence ceremony in Memorial Stadium as scheduled.
However, the ceremony will be much abbreviated, and it will include complimentary hot chocolate and coffee for friends and family members awaiting the 9:30 a.m. start.
Meanwhile, Friday's ceremony for graduate students will be moved indoors, with separate ceremonies now planned for master's and doctoral candidates.
Chancellor Harvey Perlman said UNL officials sought an alternate site for the undergraduate ceremony, but could not find a venue large enough to accommodate all 1,713 graduates and approximately 14,000 guests.
To reduce the amount of time attendees might spend sitting in the rain, UNL officials are eliminating the step where each graduate will be presented their degrees on the stadium field.
Instead, graduating students are to report to the Hawks Championship Center between 8 and 8:30 a.m. to pick up their degrees before the ceremony. They are to wear their caps and gowns.
No guests will be allowed because of limited space in the Hawks Center.
After getting their diplomas, the graduates will be seated in reserved areas of stadium sections 3 through 7 by 9:15 a.m.
Guests can enter Memorial Stadium through gates 3 and 11 between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., when hot beverages will be provided. Families are welcome to take photos on the field or the commencement stage following the ceremony.
Everyone is encouraged to wear weather-appropriate clothing, including flat shoes to avoid falls.
The new plan for the Memorial Stadium ceremony will be followed rain or shine, said UNL spokesman Steve Smith.
The doctoral hooding and commencement will be at 4 p.m. Friday at Kimball Recital Hall, north of 11th and Q Streets on the UNL City Campus. A separate master's degree commencement ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.
Both ceremonies will be live-streamed at unl.edu.
For the doctoral ceremony, students are asked to check in at 3 p.m. in Westbrook Room 132.
The procession, under the direction of University Marshalls, will begin at 3:50 p.m. for the 4 p.m. doctoral hooding and commencement in Kimball Hall. Because of space limitations, graduates are asked to limit attending guests to no more than five.
Doors will open at 3 p.m. for guest seating in the Kimball Hall auditorium. Tickets are not required.
For the 7:30 p.m. master's ceremony, students are asked to check in to the Johnny Carson Theater on west side of Lied Center under the red awning at 6:30 p.m. The doors of the Lied Center auditorium also will open at 6:30 p.m. for guest seating. No tickets will be required.
Commencement parking is available at campus garages.