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Commencement setup a four-day project

May 09, 2013 12:00AM

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Custodial Services employee Jim Cook uses a laser to align chairs in preparation for Pittsburg State University's four commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday.

Thousands of students and their families will enter John Lance Arena for commencement this weekend and see a setup befitting of such a special occasion.

Kevin Malle will enter the arena and see a job well done.

Malle, Pittsburg State University’s custodial services supervisor, and approximately 40 of his crew have spent the past four days turning a gymnasium into the scene of a once-a-year celebration. From the large backdrop behind the stage to the 500 chairs on the floor, every detail is given the proper attention and respect.

“Graduation is such a big day for the students and their families,” Malle said, “and we want to make sure it’s as perfect as it can be. We’re in here for four days cleaning, lining up the chairs and doing everything we can to make this a perfect setting for the students.”

And when he says “lining up the chairs,” he’s not talking about an eyeball estimate.

“We take that very seriously,” he said. “We’re out there with rulers and boards and even laser levels to make sure they are perfectly straight. We want people to walk in here and think ‘wow, this looks good.’ We take great pride in that.”

Once it’s all over?

“We tear it all down in about two-and-a-half hours,” he said.

Pittsburg State University will observe its 110th spring commencement on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11. According to the PSU registrar, 1,134 students are eligible to participate in the four ceremonies. Of those, 864 are undergraduate students and 270 are graduate students.

Commencement exercises for students in the College of Business as well as students in the College of Arts and Sciences from the departments of Art; Communication; History, Philosophy and Social Sciences; and General Studies, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

The second ceremony, for students from the remaining departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, will begin at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, May 11, commencement exercises for students in the College of Technology will begin at 9 a.m.

The final ceremony, for students in the College of Education, will begin at 11 a.m.

All of the ceremonies will be held in the Weede Physical Education Building, 1701 S. Homer.

A live video broadcast in Adobe Flash format is available for persons unable to attend commencement who wish to watch the ceremonies on their computers. For instructions, visit the PSU website, www.pittstate.edu, and click on the commencement link.

Other commencement-related activities this week include the Nurse Pinning Ceremony, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, in Memorial Auditorium, and the Department of Military Science Commissioning Ceremony at 10 a.m. at the PSU Veterans Memorial.

©2013 Pittsburg State University