Beach Boys concert moves commencement back to campus
By Erica Eding | firstname.lastname@example.org
Flagler College’s plans to hold the April 25 commencement ceremony at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre were thwarted by an unusual culprit: the Beach Boys.
The spring graduation will be held in the college’s gymnasium, which is the usual location. Graduates will receive five tickets for the ceremony, as well as two tickets to watch the event simulcast in the auditorium. The Virginia Room of the Ringhaver Student Center will also be available on a first-come basis.
College officials made extensive plans for the ceremony to be held at the amphitheatre.
However, Yvan Kelly, assistant dean of Academic Affairs, said he received an unpleasant surprise one morning.
He read in the St. Augustine Record’s entertainment section that the Beach Boys will perform in the amphitheatre on the night before graduation. “I was not a happy breakfast-eater at that point,” he said.
According to Kelly, the concert would interfere with the college’s usual system of preparing a list of graduating students. Currently, professors give seniors’ grades to the Registrar on Friday morning. “Often times, Ms. Roberson, the registrar, will come running down the central aisle waving the list of honors graduates as we’re starting rehearsal,” Kelly said.
The Beach Boys concert is scheduled for Friday night, so rehearsal would have to be Friday morning.
That would not be enough time to prepare the list of graduates. Kelly said final exams would have to begin on Saturday for the system to work.
The administration was also concerned with the appearance of the Amphitheatre after the Beach Boys concert. “The sunlight comes up and there are beer cans around and trash, and then we’ve got parents and grandparents coming in,” Kelly said.
The commencement ceremony is important for Flagler. Kelly said, “It’s an image thing for the college.”
The administration wants to make sure that the stage is set the way an academic ceremony should be, with organ music, plants and banners. Kelly said he doesn’t want a situation where “the roadies are still out there moving the amplifiers.”
Shelby Lane, a graduating senior, disagrees. She said the amphitheatre “seems more appropriate for a college graduation than a gymnasium,” but she was still excited about the ceremony.