The moment that some University of Alaska Southeast students have been awaiting for years is arriving this weekend.
UAS will award as many as 392 degrees and certificates, with the commencement ceremony at the Auke Lake campus in Juneau set for Sunday afternoon.
Registrar Barbara Hegel said Wednesday that the UAS campus in Juneau has received 349 applications for graduation this spring, 253 of which are for degree programs — associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
“A person might be getting two (degrees or certificates),” said Hegel, who is also the university's director of admissions. “Sometimes they might get three. So those are degrees only, not head count.”
The 349 number includes certificates, which are not considered full degrees and typically require fewer course credits in order to complete.
Graduates from summer 2012, fall 2012 and spring 2013 will be honored at the commencement ceremony, according to a draft version of the commencement program.
Between all three campuses of UAS, which has locations in Ketchikan and Sitka as well as its flagship campus in Juneau, 713 degrees and certificates are pending for the 2013 school year, which includes last summer and fall as well as this spring, according to Hegel.
Diane Meador, manager of institutional effectiveness at UAS, said it is impossible to say how many degrees and certificates will actually be awarded by the university this year.
“At best, we can predict that, because grades of course won’t be in until after commencement,” said Meador.
UAS Chancellor John Pugh praised the graduating class in a statement emailed to the Juneau Empire.
“I’m very proud of this class of remarkable graduates who have done remarkable things, both inside and outside the classroom,” Pugh said. “These graduates not only excel academically, they engage with the community through student started initiatives such as Alaskapella and UAS Improv. They have travelled as UAS students to places like Cuba and Ecuador. They have presented academic research at conferences in the lower 48 states. They are true student ambassadors.”
Commencement begins at 2 p.m. at the the Student Recreation Center, formally known as the Charles Gamble Jr.—Donald Sperl Joint Use Facility.
Hegel said the ceremony is open to the public.
“We have not reached capacity that we would have to start giving out a number of tickets per person,” said Hegel.
Charles Northrip, a former Juneau Economic Development Council director who now mentors Sudanese broadcasters at the the Education Development Center’s Sudan Radio Service in Nairobi, Kenya, will be this year’s commencement speaker.
Forest Haven, who is receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science this year, is the student commencement speaker.
Commencement events will also be held Friday in Sitka and Saturday in Ketchikan.
• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.