Seniors: A step-by-step guide to May graduation

With graduation only a semester away, it is now officially time for seniors to start making sure that they have everything squared away so that they can walk across the stage in May. In addition to making sure you have enough credits with the help of the Office of the Registrar, there is the added concern of how to get your cap and gown, where to get your class ring and what to do in preparation for taking flight from the Trinity bubble. The following are some tips to help guide you through until spring graduation on May 18.

Seniors are required to register for graduation a semester before their expected graduation date.

“The application is available on TigerPAWS and is simple and easy to submit. The application deadlines are April 30 for December graduation and Dec. 1 for May graduation,” said Eve Christofferson, graduation coordinator in the Office of the Registrar.

The registrar’s office is concerned with making sure seniors have the necessary credits in preparation for graduation, and registering for graduation is a sort of final step to make sure there are no surprises when it comes to commencement time.

“The purpose of applying for graduation is to notify the registrar’s office of your intent to graduate and to allow the registrar’s office the opportunity for you to meet this goal,” Christofferson said.

The Trinity University class rings are supplied through Balfour, and the process of getting out the information is organized by TU Ambassadors. Technically, once a student has at least 73 credit hours, he or she becomes eligible to participate in the Trinity Ring Ceremony.

“Seniors who have not yet ordered their rings haven’t missed their chance. Balfour will come back to campus to attend Countdown to Commencement in the Fiesta Room on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 13 and 14,” said Christine Burnett, the young alumni and student programs coordinator for Alumni Relations.

“The Trinity class ring is the only official ring of the university and each one is custom made. The seal on the ring has remained an almost permanent fixture since 1870 when the original charter for the university was adopted,” Burnett said.

Trinity’s seal as it appears on the ring was first used in 1870, back on the Tehuacana Hills campus, on a scholarship certificate. Since its start as it is used on the class ring, it has represented academic accomplishment and pride in the university, according to Burnett.

The final, crucial step in graduation preparation is making sure you have been in contact with Career Services because, in order to attain your cap and gown, you must fill out the Senior Survey.

“First, we do not do the survey to create one more obstacle for graduating seniors. We collect data first because it’s important for us to know what our graduates are doing. Beyond that, the university is required by the U.S. Department of Education to report this information,” said Brian Hirsch, director of Career Services.

The graduating student survey runs from April 15 through May 15 and seeks to compile information about completed degree, post-graduate plans, employment status and the impact of on-campus job recruitment, among other related topics.

“The biggest challenge is that many upcoming graduates wait until the last minute to decide what they will do when they graduate,” Hirsch said. “Regardless of whether students are planning on graduate school or going out into the work force, they need to start planning for this much earlier.”