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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Graduation belongs in Davis Wade Stadium

Ivy Rose Ball | Mississippi State Athletics
Graduation for spring 2023 was held in Davis Wade Stadium instead of Humphrey Coliseum.

Graduation is a momentous occasion that everyone, not just the graduate, looks forward to. Many people do not even consider that graduates might be limited to the number of people that can attend this important event. Unfortunately, Mississippi State University graduates are, in fact, limited.

According to the Office of the Registrar at MSU, graduates are limited to eight tickets each, thus taking away the chance for everyone to enjoy their respective graduate embark on the journey of walking across the stage.

However, this was not the case for the 2023 spring graduation commencement ceremonies. Due to construction at the Humphrey Coliseum, the ceremonies were held in Davis Wade Stadium with no limitations on how many people could come to view the ceremonies.

Since construction has wrapped up, MSU set on the 2024 academic calendar that graduation would once again be back at the Hump. This immediately sparked a fire inside me and many of my fellow 2024 graduates.

I attended two of the 2023 spring commencement ceremonies and was able to see two of my friends beaming as they walked across the stage and officially became MSU graduates. I was devastated to learn that my friends would not be given the same opportunity to see me graduate. Of course, there are positives and negatives to both sides of this issue and a clear solution to the problem at hand.

The biggest concern that everyone would argue with is the heat. Yes, we are in Mississippi and the heat is brutal in May. Sweating is not ideal when trying to watch or participate in a graduation ceremony but there are ways to deal with it — lots of water and handheld fans.

These reasons are just simply not enough to keep the limitation on graduates’ tickets to their ceremony. Having sat through two of said brutally hot ceremonies last spring, I can say with certainty that while it is hot, I would do it again because it is a memorable and special experience.

I do not believe it is a valid reason to host graduation in the Hump just because it was tradition before construction occurred.

There are, however, plenty of reasons to return graduation back to Davis Wade. According to Joel Coleman at Hail State, with the renovations done to the Hump, the maximum capacity has decreased.

After renovations, seating went from around 10,272 to 9,450 to accommodate the changes made. Davis Wade Stadium, of course, has more than enough seating as seen in the ceremonies held last year and the many games held each football season. Seating is clearly not an issue in Davis Wade, which is the biggest issue for graduates. 

Seating aside, space as a whole is another reason for Davis Wade to be the location of the graduation ceremonies. The size of the Hump does not compare to Davis Wade in allowing for a more comfortable and spacious ceremony for everyone involved.

It is simply unfair to show that graduation can be held successfully and with no limitation on tickets in Davis Wade then return back to the Hump after renovations. Since it was done well, there is simply no reason for the graduation ceremonies to not be held once again in Davis Wade Stadium.

About the Contributor
Grace Sullivan
Grace Sullivan, Staff Writer
Grace Sullivan is a senior communication major. Grace is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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