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Phoenix Forward magazine

8 ways loved ones can prep for your graduation

University of Phoenix graduation

Do you have friends and family members who have agreed to see you cross the stage during University of Phoenix National Commencement on June 7th or 8th? Here’s a list of things your loved ones should do before and during their trip to Phoenix:


Book a hotel.

Jackie Klecka, University marketing and event communications manager, recommends checking the website of the Phoenix Convention Center, where the ceremonies will take place, to find hotels in a range of prices.

Your guests also might choose to stay outside of downtown at a hotel near the Phoenix Light Rail line and use the train to go to and from the ceremonies.


Make dinner reservations.

With many people in town for commencement, making dinner reservations well in advance will give your guests the most options.


Get acquainted with the area.

Once in town, guests can orient themselves using a map of the convention center neighborhood, which also can be uploaded to a smartphone.


Consider riding the light rail.

Whether going to commencement or getting around town, Klecka says, public transportation is a good bet for a short visit. “The train conveniently drops passengers in the heart of downtown Phoenix,” she notes, “where visitors have access to local restaurants and shops.” If guests plan to drive in town, she notes, there is paid parking near the convention center.


Charge your cellphone fully.

Having a charged cellphone, Klecka explains, will help ensure your guests can contact you. This is especially important since they may not be able to see you in the crowd of caps and gowns.


Prepare for the heat.

It’s smart to carry water, as well as to wear sun block, when you’re outside in Phoenix, Klecka says, noting that water will be available for sale at the ceremonies.


Arrive at commencement early.

Although events start at 11 am, Klecka says guests should get there by 8 am. Graduates will receive their guest tickets when they check in at the event, and then will have to give them to friends and family or leave them at will call. “The will-call line can be very long,” Klecka adds. Each graduate receives three guest tickets. If more are needed, they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Make the moment count.

“We encourage families and friends to tweet,” Klecka says, recommending they share their congratulatory message with @UOPX on the Twitter® network and post notes for loved ones on the University Facebook® page. “We also encourage vocal support,” she adds, as in a good “woohoo” shout.

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