LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -
After 33 years, the McNeese State University commencement was held back on campus at the new Health and Human Performance Education Complex. For the first time, the colleges were split in half for two different ceremonies.
Previously the ceremonies were held in the Burton Colosseum and before that, the Lake Charles Civic Center.
“Even though Burton holds about 7,000 people, particularly our spring ceremony, our May ceremony, we were having people turned away because the Colosseum was at capacity,” said Candace Townsend, Director of Public Relations and University Events. “So, we knew that we were going to have to start looking to break up the ceremony into two different ceremonies.”
Both ceremonies were the same. The commencement speaker was Hall of Fame basketball player and McNeese alum, Joe Dumars who is honored in the new building.
“When we made the decision to have commencement in this facility," Townsend said." One of the first things we thought about was trying to get Joe Dumars to be a part of our celebration and he graciously agreed.”