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2024 Spring Graduation

57th Annual Lake Area Tech Graduation
Friday, May 10, 2024 – 4:00 PM
Watertown Civic Arena

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 location: Click here 

FREE GRADUATION TICKETS: Due to limited seating in the Watertown Civic Arena, Lake Area Tech has developed a ticketed only event for the guests.  Each graduate will be allowed 6 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 graduate notifying that there are extras available.  On or about April 1, expected graduates will be given access to the Graduates tab on MyPortal. Beginning April 15, graduates can place their order for tickets there. Once the order is placed, tickets will be delivered to the programs 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 Marketing 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: Typically, graduates gather early in the lobby of the Watertown Civic Arena to take candid photos of friends and classmates prior to the ceremony.  A Lake Area Tech College backdrop is provided in the lobby.  Often, family and friends position themselves briefly at the foot of the stage to take a photo as their graduate receives their diploma.  Photos can also be taken on the stage immediately after graduation.  Lake Area Technical College marketing staff will be on-site taking photos and will post them on Lake Area Tech’s social media outlets. Please feel free to like and share. 

LIVE STREAMING:  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 live streamed on Lake Area Technical College’s You Tube Live and Facebook Live platforms, as well as in the Student Commons of the Student Center. 

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 so don’t expect a diploma to arrive until 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. 

REGALIA:  The graduation gown order has been placed. Students will be notified when the gowns will be available for pick-up in the STAX Bookstore (typically in early March). If there is a question about a gown order, please contact  straitl@lakeareatech.edu. When the gowns arrive and 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 that day  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 contact STAX Bookstore.

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 (5:30-7:00 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/

Graduation Rehearsal

DATE: May 10, 2024

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 2 hours and it is important that you attend.

NAME PRONUNCIATION:  Lake Area Technical College staff will be reading your name at the graduation ceremony.  They may contact you ahead of time regarding the correct pronunciation of your name.

INSTRUCTIONS: Rehearsal is Friday, May 10th at 10:00 am at the DD Miller Auditorium.  It will take approximately 2 hours and it is important that you attend.  Please make every effort to be there.  Your program faculty may wish to meet with you before or after rehearsal.