Spring is in the air and that means crowds of cap-and-gown wearing Penn State graduates, and their parents, will be all over State College this weekend. Penn State will be holding graduation ceremonies Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
By the end of this weekend, Penn State expects to mint 12,821 new alumni. That number includes graduates at the branch campuses.
Here's the breakdown at Penn State's main campus at University Park:
Associates degrees: 11
Baccalaureate degrees: 8,199
Master's degrees : 996
Doctoral degrees: 223
That surge of new graduates will increase the number of people holding Penn State degrees to a staggering 719,545.
Graduation ceremonies used to be held all over the University Park campus, including Rec Hall. Now, graduation ceremonies are mainly held at either the Bryce Jordan Center or Eisenhower Auditorium. And those venues are always packed with friends and family members.
They expect about 50,000 people will come through the doors at the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend.
The largest undergraduate commencement at University Park will likely be the College of Liberal Arts, because that school offers such a wide selection of programs.
The smallest group is probably the College of Information Sciences and Technology.
Not that long ago, commencement ceremonies were impersonal to say the least. Graduates were asked to stand in groups, sometimes consisting of hundreds of people, as officials announced they had graduated. You had to stand in line to pick up your diploma after the ceremony.
That changed in 2004. Now, each graduate's name is read aloud and every graduate walks across the stage to pick up a diploma.
The faces are different from year to year, but the tradition, the history and the smiles that graduates wear are a reminder that some things never change.
StateCollege.com congratulates the class of 2013!