An increasing number of students earning graduate degrees through on campus programs and ACU Dallas has led the university to plan a separate hooding ceremony for the Friday evening before graduation as a prelude to conducting three graduation ceremonies next spring.The hooding ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday in the auditorium of University Church of Christ across from Sewell Auditorium and will honor graduates from the College of Arts and Science, the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services and the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.
Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost, said the change is directly attributed to the increased number of students completing graduate programs. This year, 266 students will earn masters and doctorate degrees from the university, an increase from 168 just last year. Rhodes said this is because of increased interest in graduate programs at ACU as well as the introduction of new graduate programs.
The hooding ceremony will shorten the Saturday graduation ceremonies because, in the past, college deans would hood each student earning a graduate degree on stage individually.
Rhodes said the ceremony is not meant to replace graduation but to honor the graduate students beforehand. Brooke McClenny, graduate accounting major from Tyler, said she believes this ceremony is another example of ACU pouring into its students.
“It will be a great way for us to be distinguished from the undergraduate students, as well as honored for persevering and completing a graduate program.”
This also will be a one-time event. In May 2020, the university plans to conduct a Friday evening graduate degree commencement ceremony and two Saturday ceremonies for undergraduates.