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University Relations

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May 12, 2006
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858.

KU graduates to make traditional walk through Campanile, down hill May 21

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LAWRENCE — More than 4,000 members of the University of Kansas Class of 2006 are expected to make the traditional walk down Campanile Hill during KU’s 134th commencement Sunday, May 21, in Lawrence.

Graduates will assemble along Memorial Drive at 2 p.m. They will march into Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway will offer remarks and confer degrees beginning about 3:30 p.m. The consumption of alcohol and cereal malt beverages on university property is strictly prohibited.

About 7,000 students are candidates for degrees in the Class of 2006. The class includes about 4,255 candidates for degrees in the spring, more than 1,600 who graduated at the end of the fall 2005 semester and more than 1,165 who completed coursework over summer 2005.

The tradition of a commencement procession began in 1907 when faculty and graduates walked from old Fraser Hall to the then-new Robinson Gymnasium, where Wescoe Hall is now located. The commencement procession moved in 1924 when Memorial Stadium, built in honor of World War I veterans, was completed.

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An April 23 hail storm damaged the stadium videoboard so there will be no video presentation in the stadium this year because parts needed for repairs will not be available in time. The commencement ceremony will be shown live in Woodruff Auditorium on the fifth level of the Kansas Union. The broadcast is provided for people for whom the physical conditions in Memorial Stadium would be a barrier to their attendance at commencement. Commencement also will be broadcast on campus television station KUJH TV-14 (Channel 31 on Lawrence’s Sunflower Cable). Unlike previous years, a videotape of commencement will not be available for sale this year.

Sign language interpreters will be available in the bowl of the stadium. Reserved seating also will be available for people who need special assistance, including people in wheelchairs.

Commencement information and an up-to-date schedule of events are available online at www.commencement.ku.edu. The KU Information Center is available at (785) 864-3506 or kuinfo@ku.edu. The information center’s walk-up window on the fourth level of the Kansas Union will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 20 and 21. The KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa St., will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20 and 21.

If it rains the morning of commencement, an announcement will be made at 1 p.m. about arrangements for a postponed ceremony. Announcements will be made through the KU Information Center and local radio stations, including KANU 91.5-FM, KLZR 105.9-FM, KJHK 90.7-FM, KFKF 94.1-FM, KMBZ 980-AM, WIBW 580-AM, WDAF 610-AM and KLWN 1320-AM, as well as Sunflower Cable Channel 6.

If the weather begins to clear in early afternoon, the first attempt to hold a postponed ceremony will be at 4:30 p.m. Graduates will assemble on Memorial Drive at 4 p.m. If the weather does not begin to clear in time for a 4:30 p.m. ceremony, a second attempt will be made at 6:30 p.m. Graduates will assemble on Memorial Drive at 6 p.m.

If it is still raining, the ceremony will be postponed until Monday, May 22, when graduates will line up at 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. procession.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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