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VSU graduation lacks celebrity

As a hopeful spring graduate, pending a few miracles in two classes, I wonder where Oprah and Michelle Obama will be since they won’t be at Valdosta State University’s commencement ceremony. In fact, there won’t be a D-List celebrity, F-List celebrity, or even one of Tiger Wood’s many escorts speaking at the May 8 graduation.
In the last two years, I have seen my share of graduations. However, none have been quite like VSU’s. Due to either large graduating classes or limited seating, VSU holds three commencement ceremonies on graduation day.
To add to VSU’s unique system of celebrating the end of one’s college chapter, the ceremonies are relatively short — as short as the list of A-List guest speakers. The speakers usually consist of a few administrators and one or two students such as a Student Government spokesperson.
Personally, I don’t mind the lack of celebrities; however, as an English major, I am not thrilled about my commencement starting at 4 p.m. (too much family time beforehand).
“Well I like how VSU cuts down the amount of time I spend [at] the ceremony and allow graduates a chance to spend more time with their family,” Matt Williams, senior sociology major, said. “If not having an A-list speaker is a casualty, I’m OK with it because VSU strives to bring in dynamic speakers throughout the year.”
I have a short attention span and due to the brevity of the entire ceremony, usually about an hour, my eyes don’t have the time to glaze over during a long, drawn-out speech from some famous person such as Oprah.
While the idea of VSU actually being able to get someone as famous as Oprah is almost laughable, I will admit that it make for some great scrapbook photos.
While commencement is meant to celebrate and congratulate those who actually managed to finish college, many graduates are more concerned with the events that follow after: moving, eating, partying, and/or drinking.
“As nice as it would be to graduate with all of my friends at once, and walk out uber-motivated by an overpaid motivational speaker, I’d really rather get out of that uncomfortable gown and get it over with [quickly] so I can get going with important things, like moving out of the dorms in the last minute or partying on mom and dad’s tab,” said Ernie Prencke, public administration graduate student.
With my last article in the paper and hopefully a diploma soon in hand, I want to tell all the May 2010 graduates congratulations and I will see you in Remerton next Friday night.

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