Grad Fest makes way for tradition

This year’s graduation celebrations will not include Grad Fest, the party normally held by the Alumni Association at the end of the spring semester which brings graduating students and alumni together.

The Alumni Association staff decided at the beginning of the year not to schedule Grad Fest and instead redirect the money into other student projects. The money originally intended for the celebration was reallocated to provide subsidies for students participating in the Alumni Association Community Luncheon. A further portion of the money will be used to fund the creation of a new brochure, to be aimed at juniors, that celebrates USF traditions.

Debbie Lum, Alumni Association director for special events and tradition keeper, said the rationale behind the decision, made by the Alumni Association staff, was to improve the links between students and alumni.

“We are constantly trying to figure out the best way to reach students,” Lum said. “The Community Luncheon was very popular last year and helped students to achieve interaction with the existing alumni. Something Grad Fest did not achieve.”

Amber Marcellino, Alumni Association program assistant, said the purpose of the traditions brochure was to publicize events, such as Homecoming and movies on the lawn, that have established themselves as integral parts of USF’s social calendar.

“It’s to get the word out early, to help perpetuate these events.” Marcellino said.

Lum said she believed the recognition and celebration of USF traditions in the new brochure would help forge links between student and university that would endure long after their graduation.

“Traditions are important, as that is what holds your memories to university,” Lum said.

Grad Fest was first held as a separate event from graduation day in 2001, with the intent of providing graduating students an opportunity to celebrate while still allowing them to spend graduation day with their parents.

Marcellino said the Alumni Association has not yet ruled out the possibility of holding Grad Fest next year.

“A proposal has been put in the budget for next year,” she said.

Contact Chris O’Donnellat