Before students even graduate, they are ushered into the alumni ranks in late March during Commencement Countdown. This two-day event takes place in a booth-lined Cintas Center where seniors can get everything they need to graduate. They can purchase caps and gowns, try on class rings and pay their leftover bills—including parking tickets and, um, who doesn’t have a few of those after four years on campus? Even a photographer is on hand offering graduation portraits.
More important, though, graduating seniors receive their alumni ALL Cards, which make them eligible for national benefits. A representative from the national alumni association is also there to teach them about chapter events and collect their new contact information so they can stay up-to-date on the University.
“It’s an opportunity to take care of practical commencement needs and a way for us to connect with them before they leave,” says Joe Ventura, director for the national alumni association.