Seniors prepare for graduation

A student dons a graduation gown at this year's Senior Salute in the Curris Center.

It is that time of year again. Senior Salute was held Mon.-Wed. in the Curris Center Dance Lounge from 10 a.m. to 6p.m. for graduating seniors.

The offices of Registrar, Financial Aid/Scholarship, Bursar’s, as well as Murray State Graduate Studies, Career Services and the Alumni Association were available to help May graduates prepare and plan for graduation.

Jostens Class Rings attended for ring sales and graduation announcements could also be purchased. Classic Photography Inc. did onsite formal graduation pictures in full graduation regalia.

The University Bookstore hosts Senior Salute with the intension to make all necessary departments and key players available to graduates at one designated place and time.

“I think it helps to get it together as a one stop shop for graduates to get everything in line for graduation with all the departments and pieces in one place and on the same page,”  Andrew Dowdy, assistant director of the University Store, said.

Other universities put on events similar to Murray State’s Senior Salute, but the name is unique to Murray State’s pre-graduation event. Senior Salute has been the designated name since its inception almost 16 years ago, director of the University Store, Karol Hardison said.

“It started off kind of small with basically regalia (cap and gown) fittings, taking announcement orders and having a representative available for class ring orders, but through the years more departments have joined in and it has grown into a wonderful event,” Hardison said.

Over the years, Senior Salute has expanded, and in turn so has its need for space. Senior Salute made the necessary move from the Rocking Chair Lounge to the Dance Lounge to accommodate the additional participants a few years ago.

To this May’s graduating seniors, the Senior Salute is the event that solidifies the end of their chapter at Murray State and represents a sort of finality.

“Senior Salute was a great experience and prepared me for the upcoming graduation ceremony,” Brett Richardson, senior from Orlando, Fl., said. “It was exciting to finally get my cap and gown and the people helping with Senior Salute were very accommodating. All my questions were answered and allowed me to feel relaxed about the graduation process”.

For others, Senior Salute evokes a feeling of nostalgia and some mixed emotions.

“Senior Salute is a time to reflect on all of the memories I’ve had at Murray State, and attending Senior Salute has made me excited for graduation and the future,” Ashley Perry, senior from Murray, Ky., said.

When the graduation ceremonies moved to the CFSB, the University Store started taking the regalia to the Varsity Shop (Gate B) to help with those last minute purchases and to have pieces of the required regalia available just in case someone lost their tassel on the way in. This is also when the University Store decided to have the flower cart–roses available for purchase on the day of the ceremony.

“Being open to new ideas and suggestions continue to help us grow and to better serve our students,” Hardison said.

If graduating seniors missed the opportunity to attend Senior Salute, they can still contact any of the attendees on an individual basis.

Graduation regalia items are stocked in the bookstore for purchase, and announcement orders will be taken until April 15th without penalty. After April 15th, there will be a five dollar late fee charged.