Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

UM Commencement, Saturday April 26

24. April 2008 • Juliew
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The University’s 2008 Commencement will be this Saturday, April 26 in front of the Graduate Library on the Diag on central campus. Normally, the graduation ceremony is in the Stadium and really doesn’t present much of a logistical challenge because the venue is already set up. Not so this year. Extensive work has been done on the Diag and Central Campus to make it ready for the influx of 30,000 attendees. Flooring was laid across the whole Diag, 30,000 chairs have been set up, stages are in place, and huge audio and video setups are going up. It is something to see.

There will be shuttles from outlying parking lots and hotels, but be aware that parking downtown on Saturday will be extremely tight. All University parking structures will be open to graduation attendees and City structures will have a $5 up-front fee rather than hourly rate. The procession of graduates begins at 9:00am followed by the formal program at 10:00am. Admission to the Diag and nearby University buildings will be controlled to a large extent so don’t expect to be able to just saunter on by to see how it is going Saturday morning. If you have a ticket, I recommend getting there early or you will end up sitting behind a tree.

For more information, see the University Record article.

  1. That’s a great set of pictures, juliew.

    Somebody’s posted more here.

       —Bruce Fields    Apr. 24 '08 - 11:36PM    #
  2. Thanks Bruce. There are a lot of pictures up on Flickr from a lot of different people. There isn’t a standard tag though so you kind of have to search around. You really can’t help but take pictures when you walk by it every day. It is just such an enormous project. They have the huge daylight screens up today and are testing them. Pretty amazing. A little bit of Las Vegas in Ann Arbor.

       —Juliew    Apr. 24 '08 - 11:53PM    #
  3. The Diag right now with the endless stately rows arrayed in quad- and tri-angular sections, defined by paths and breaking ranks only for trees, keeps putting me in mind of Arlington Cemetery. Except with folding chairs where the crosses and Stars of David would otherwise be.

    And the number of zip ties is astonishing.

       —Parking Structure Dude!    Apr. 25 '08 - 01:06AM    #
  4. And the number of zip ties is astonishing.

    It is a heck of a story problem: 30,000 chairs, four zip ties per chair (two on each side), except for the ends of the rows. No idea how many there are but I agree that it is astonishing. I feel very sorry for the people who have to remove them!

       —Juliew    Apr. 25 '08 - 01:15AM    #
  5. Now, congrats to the students, but I am so glad I’m going to be out of town this weekend. It’s going to be insane…

       —Skyler    Apr. 25 '08 - 09:09PM    #
  6. Jeez… I used to work in the Diag grounds crew… I bet those guys are enjoying this, as I am sure it’s good for the grass and other landscaping and folks won’t leave any trash behind.

    Best job I ever had, though.

       —Brandon    Apr. 26 '08 - 05:21AM    #
  7. The Detroit News gave a seating capacity of the Diag as 27430 people – I’m sure that someone has counted chairs (or tickets) and I wonder what the real capacity will end up being.

    Haven and Mason make pretty darn good skyboxes. Is there luxury seating up there?

       —Edward Vielmetti    Apr. 26 '08 - 06:45AM    #