Texas A&M: Texas A&M Continues Second Week Of Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies continue today at Reed Arena at Texas A&M University, which is awarding diplomas to 11,406 graduates.

That’s 608 more than last May’s 10,796 degrees, setting another record for the number of graduates receiving degrees. Today the university enters its second week of in-person commencements at Reed Arena – where more than a dozen have already been completed. In all, the university is hosting 34 ceremonies this month.

The majority are held at the campus sports and entertainment venue, a feat that requires the collaboration of several university departments, including the offices of the Registrar and Provost and Reed Arena staff.
Jesse Everett/Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications
“These events are timed to the second, and it could not go smoothly without communication and coordination between all of those parties,” said Hayden Johnson, Athletics Department facilities assistant.

Johnson said 29 ceremonies will be at Reed Arena in total – this includes a doctoral commencement and hooding ceremony, as well as an athletics commencement. While all of the Aggie traditions remain the same, May’s ceremonies have continued to look different than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seating setup on the arena floor began a week in advance to allow for time for staff from Registrar’s Office to make sure the events run as safely and smoothly as possible, Johnson said.

The smaller number of graduates recognized per ceremony to allow for increased spacing is among the many safety measures staff have taken to ensure the health and safety of guests and students, he said.

Each graduate’s guests are asked to sit together in the stands leaving at least two seats between other groups. In the break between ceremonies – up to four can be held in one day – usher staff assist with collecting trash, Johnson said, while custodial staff disinfect seating with electrostatic sprayers.

For those who are unable to attend graduation in-person, livestreams are available through KAMU-TV/FM, the university’s public broadcasting radio and television station.

Around 12 KAMU staff members work on site to stream each ceremony – which the station has done for more than 30 years. KAMU Executive Director Doug Walker said this includes two directors for visuals and audio, two broadcast engineers, four camera operators and three staffers in master control. They produce and direct the telecast from KAMU’s remote truck outside of Reed Arena. Engineering and operations personnel are also on call in case of technical emergencies, Walker said, with television traffic and master control staff monitoring the telecast from the station.

view of two employees sitting in KAMU van producing the livestream
Around a dozen KAMU staff members are on hand at each ceremony
Jesse Everett/Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications

KAMU works alongside the Provost’s Office, which handles scheduling and planning for commencement.

“We are there as production support, collaborating with Reed Arena’s crew as well, while taking direction from the Provost’s Office and the Division of Marketing & Communications,” Walker said.

The ceremonies are telecast live on KAMU 12.1, as well as on its Youtube channel and website.