Crisler Center, pictured during halftime of UM-Dearborn women’s basketball’s game against Albion College, will host UM-Dearborn’s winter 2016 commencement ceremony on May 1 at 2:30 p.m. (Ricky Lindsay/MJ)

By RICKY LINDSAY, Editor-in-Chief

Students graduating from the University of Michigan-Dearborn in May will do so about 35 miles west of where they normally would.

UM-Dearborn will hold its winter 2016 commencement ceremony at Michigan’s Crisler Center in Ann Arbor on May 1 at 2:30 p.m. Commencement ceremonies have normally been held in the Fieldhouse.

“The graduating class has gotten just big enough that we had to reduce the number of guest tickets that a graduate can use for family and friends,” Ray Metz, vice chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Life, said. “It just isn’t fair to students and their families to only allow 2 or 3 of them attend graduation.”

This year’s ceremony will mark the first off-campus ceremony in 15 years. According to Metz, UM-Dearborn held its graduation ceremony at Crisler Center in 2001 due to campus construction.

According to UM-Dearborn, students who are receiving a degree are eligible to receive up to 10 guest tickets. Ticket distribution will begin on March 22 at 10 a.m. and run until April 22. They will be distributed “at random.” Students must present photo identification and their cap and gown receipt to pick up their tickets.

UM-Dearborn’s bookstore will hold a graduation fair March 22-23 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Students will be able to order their cap and gown as well as a class ring and other graduation accessories. Caps and gowns can also be ordered online.

Metz believes having commencement ceremonies at Crisler Center will “magnify the experience for students.”

“First, it allows each student the ability to share the graduation experience with a much larger group of family and friends. Second, it will be a much bigger setting with a much bigger audience,” Metz said.

While nothing is set in stone, it’s entirely possible that May’s commencement ceremony at Crisler Center won’t be a one-time thing.

“If the graduation works well in Ann Arbor, we will continue having the May graduation in Crisler,” Metz said. “For now, the graduation in December is a somewhat smaller event.  At least for fall 2016, we plan on having graduation here on campus.”