On-campus graduation moved to ASU for 2018

Male graduates preparing to walk. Parents and family filled the bleachers fom top to bottom.


After eight years of holding graduation in its own backyard, administration announced earlier this month that for the first time in school history, spring commencement will be an off-campus event.

The 2018 senior class will graduate at Wells Fargo Arena on the campus of Arizona State University on Tues. May 29.

Besides the obvious location change, holding graduation on the last Tues. of the school year is also a big adjustment. In the past, graduation has always been held on the last Wed. of the year as it marks the last day of school for underclassmen. However, this year, ASU reached its two-graduations-a-day limit on that Wed. forcing the ceremony back to the day before.

Principal Dan Serrano stated, “Well I’ve always liked it on campus but over the years it’s not fair to people who come to see somebody graduate and they don’t have a good seat or a good place to park.”

At the height of its growth this senior class reached 967 students, making it the largest in Perry’s 10 year history. With such an enormous number of students, the stadium at Perry would not have been sufficient to house the imminent number parents and family members who would like to attend graduation.

StuGo president Hannah Bashford said, “I have always been told our class is the biggest in Perry history. We had to build extra parking lot to accommodate for our size so it was not a surprise when we found out that our stadium would not be able to hold our graduation.”

Over the past four years, the senior class has increased from 629, 706, 791, and this year’s senior class of 900. The numbers show an obvious steep ascent in population size.

“The senior class is very big,” registrar Julie Logue said. Even throughout the course of the first quarter “we have gained a couple more students.”

However, this might not always be the case.

The large influx of students may be leveling out. This year, there are 876 juniors, 935 sophomores, and 845 freshman. This relationship shows a decline in future classes as opposed to the strong incline that has been present the past four years. Furthermore, the current senior class lost 45 students overall from freshman to senior year.

It could be that this year was an anomaly in a forever ascending population growth or it could be that the school has reached its peak. Whatever the situation, it seems Serrano has a clear view for future graduations, and much to his dismay, he does not foresee the event coming back to PHS.

“If we got down to a class of 500 then [bringing it back to PHS] would be perfect,” he said, “but I don’t think we will ever see a class that small again.”