Menu icon

2021 Spring Graduation

54th Annual Lake Area Tech Graduation
Friday, May 14, 2021 – 4:00 PM
Watertown Civic Arena

Announcement 21 Page 1
Graduation 2021 Web Edit

TIME: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (approx.)  Doors will open at 2:30 pm for guests. 
Students must report and be seated in the DD Miller Auditorium by 3:30 pm.

LOCATION:  Watertown Civic Arena,  200 9th Street NE, Watertown, SD   Google map 


FREE GRADUATION TICKETS: Due to limited seating in the Watertown Civic Arena, Lake Area Tech has developed a ticket-only event for the guests.  Each graduate will be allowed 4 free tickets for friends and family.  Graduates will “order” the number they need and request extra if necessary.  If all of the tickets are not claimed by the day before graduation, we will release the extras and will contact the graduates notifying them that extras are available.  Beginning April 15, graduates can place their order for tickets by going to MyPortal – Graduation tab. Once the order is placed, tickets will be delivered to your program the day before graduation for distribution. Only individuals with tickets will be allowed in to the graduation ceremony (including infants/children).

GRADUATION INVITATIONS: The Lake Area Technical College STAX Bookstore carries a small supply of Lake Area Technical College Graduation Ceremony invitations for purchase.  However, many of the graduates choose to create their own invitation.  To request use of the official Lake Area Technical College logo, please contact Director of Student Services, Marketing & Public Relations LuAnn Strait at straitl@lakeareatech.edu  and one will be emailed free of charge.  Lake Area Technical College does adhere to specific brand standards and we ask that the logo not be altered in any manner. 

PHOTOGRAPHY:  Life Touch Photography will be taking individual photos immediately after students walk across and descend the stage.  (Lake Area Technical College does not have any affiliation with Life Touch Photography.)  Information on where to view and how to purchase your photo will be provided that day.  Additionally, graduates may gather early in the lobby of the Watertown Civic Arena to take candid photos of friends and classmates prior to the ceremony.  A backdrop will be provided.  Photos can also be taken on the stage immediately after graduation.  Lake Area Technical College marketing staff will also be on-site taking photos and will post them on Lake Area Tech social media. Please feel free to like and share. 

Lifetouch Special Events Photography is pleased to provide this complimentary service for each graduate who crosses the dais during the commencement ceremony.  Go to the sitehttps://events.lifetouch.com/lakeareatech  for information about commencement photographs. Your photo will be posted at https://lifetouchjf.shootproof.com/gallery/lakeareatech
Any questions can be addressed to specialevents@lifetouch.com, 800-505-9496 Monday – Friday 8:00am – 6:00pm EST, or via the Web sitehttp://events.lifetouch.com/about/contactus.aspx.
There is no obligation to purchase.  If a valid e-mail address is available to the photographer, a link to commencement photograph proofs will also be sent to participating graduates via e-mail. 
Please do not contact the school with inquiries related to photographic service.

LIVESTREAMING:  If the graduate is unable to attend the in-person graduation or have family and friends who will not be attending, the ceremony will be livestreamed on Lake Area Technical College’s You Tube Live and Facebook Live platforms, as well as on Level 4 of the Student Center.  The names of all graduates who are not able to attend in-person will run on the livestream platforms at the end of the ceremony.

DIPLOMAS:  Lake Area Technical College diploma covers will be handed to each graduate as they cross the stage.  The actual diploma will not be distributed the day of graduation but will be mailed to the graduate after all requirements and grades have been verified.  This process takes time. Expect the diploma to arrive mid-summer.  Those who finish in July can expect diplomas to be mailed late August.  No diploma or transcript will be released if the student has any unpaid financial obligations on campus.  If the graduate is unable to attend in-person, both the diploma cover and diploma will be sent through the mail. 

REGAILA:  Graduation gowns were ordered online by the student in January (notices were sent to place order). Gowns are available for pick-up in the STAX Bookstore when they arrive (typically in March).  If there is a problem with the gown, please contact the STAX Bookstore personnel immediately.  Make sure the gown is pressed prior to the ceremony (use the low setting on your iron!).  Dress clothes and nice shoes are suggested.  Cosmetology students will be available to help with cap pinning if needed. Make sure you don’t lose your tassel when carrying your mortar board.  Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap before the ceremony and are then moved from the right side to the left after receiving a diploma or when directed to do so by the graduation speaker. For questions please email Darrin Christensen at christed@lakeareatech.edu.

CONCLUSION OF CEREMONY:  The President of Lake Area Technical College will recognize the graduates and wish them well.  At that point, graduates may toss their mortar boards in the air in celebration of their accomplishment.

RECEPTIONS ON CAMPUS: Lake Area Technical College will host a simple, free reception on campus both before (1-3 pm) and after (5:30-8:00 pm) the graduation ceremony.  Complimentary coffee, soda and sweets will be provided in the Student Center/Student Commons.  The campus will be open from 8:00 AM-8:00 PM for self-guided tours.  For other places to hold a reception/dine in Watertown go to: https://visitwatertownsd.com/eat/

HANDICAP REQUESTS: Graduates will ascend and descend a small set of stairs to cross the stage to receive their diploma cover.  If a graduate has a physical challenge that may make this difficult, please contact Eric Schultz, Director of Enrollment at Eric.Schultz@lakeareatech.edu and we will make sure a ramp is used instead of the stairs.  If guests are attending that need extra assistance, wheelchairs will be available and located at the entrance as well as handicapped seating. 

MOTELS:  https://visitwatertownsd.com/stay-in-watertown/

LATC COVID GUIDELINES: Lake Area Technical College will adhere to our COVID guidelines by requesting guests and graduates wear facial coverings and social distance, if possible.  The amount of free tickets for guests has been reduced for the 2021 Graduation Ceremony in an effort to reduce large numbers in attendance.  If a graduate or guest is uncomfortable with the graduation ceremony arrangements, please do not feel obligated to attend in-person. Lake Area Technical College is providing livestream options for those who desire not to attend and graduation diploma cover, diploma and graduation program will be sent through the mail.


DATE: May 14, 2021
TIME:  10:00 am
LOCATION:  DD Miller Auditorium/Watertown Civic Arena – both are located across the street to the west of the Lake Area Technical College campus. Rehearsal will take approximately two hours and it is important that you attend.

NAME PRONUNCIATION:  Business Associate program faculty member, Tom Mulholland will be reading your name at the graduation ceremony.  He may be checking with you ahead of time regarding the correct pronunciation of your name.

INSTRUCTIONS: Graduates, please watch your email for program-specific and/or other graduation updates.