Imagine Graduation helps seniors get ready for commencement in May

Peggy Brennan, assistant to vice president for administration and institutional effectiveness, put together Imagine Graduation March 10-11 to help seniors check off the final steps before commencement May 16.

Imagine Graduation is a one-stop shop for graduating seniors. They can check with the Registrars Office, Business Office, Moffet Library and Financial Aid to make sure all their payments and credits are in order. The graduates can go by the bookstore’s table and get their cap and gown, check with Herff Jones to get their rings, and newly added in the fall, the graduates can stop by the Young Professionals of Wichita Falls’ table to see about job opportunities in the area.

“It was very reassuring to get everything checked off my list,” said Matt Oliver, criminal justice senior. “It was so easy to go from table to table and see that all my requirements to graduate were fulfilled.”

When seniors first walk into Comanche Suites, Peggy Brennan greets them at the entrance to get the low-down of what to do and how to do it.

“Are you a May graduate?” Brennan asks, and then gives seniors their Imagine Graduation bag. “You need to meet with the Registrar’s Office first and they will go over your degree audit that you will take with you to the other tables to check off,” she tells the near graduates. “After you get all the signatures from each organization you can come see me and I’ll be your last signature. Then you can put it in the magic hat for a chance to win some prizes.”

Brennan said giving out prizes including gift cards is one of the main incentives for seniors to come.

“It would be nice if I could win that bookstore gift card,” said Matt Nichols, history senior, “so I could get some alumni gear before I’m out of here.”

At Imagine Graduation, seniors can buy their required cap, gown and tassel for $40, as well as optional ad-ons like a class ring and announcement packages. If a graduate gets a basic ring with the traditions announcement package, the cheapest options, that would cost around $495 including the cap and gown.

“It’s like I have to pay to graduate? That’s not how it’s supposed to work,” said Ben Moree, business management senior. “I’ve noticed that everything is getting more expensive since I’ve been here.”

Sara Gamble, a 1985 graduate in education said they didn’t have Imagine Graduation when she graduated. However, since Imagine Graduation has been up and running, Gamble has always volunteered to talk to the graduates at the alumni table.

“I love seeing the different reactions from different students,” said Gamble. “Some are just trying to get me to sign and get out of there, but I love it when I have a graduate who wants to talk and get to know me and about the alumni association.”

Brennan has been in charge of Imagine Graduation since 2008.

“Debbie Barrow, who created Imagine Graduation for MSU, laid me good footsteps to follow,” Brennan said.