Nostalgia aside, Wells Fargo is best option for Gilbert-sized families


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Picture this: it’s graduation. The night you have worked the past thirteen years to get to, the moment where your accomplishments of adolescence peak. You show up to the stadium, and parking is obsolete. Your aunts and uncles have to park a mile away, and your elderly great-grandmother has to walk that distance to reach the venue. When your twenty family members arrive, they cannot find any seating, despite showing up two hours early. They split up and find seating, but are squished next to the extended family of the other nine hundred graduates. The ones without your family’s luck — the ones whose parents work until 6:30 and had to rush to make it before the 7 p.m. start time — can find no parking, and when they finally secure a curbside location where they may or may not get towed, there is no seating in sight. At this point, the near-100 degree weather has really gotten to your grandpa, but he forgot to bring water. The mom or dad arriving at 6:45 has to watch the ceremony from a screen in another building. Sounds pretty terrible, no? This is the reality of the past ten years of graduation ceremonies that took place on Perry’s campus.

The Class of 2018 has been a landmark group, and the decision for their graduation ceremony to take place at Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena does not stray from their trailblazing tendency. There was a collective sigh of relief when administration decided to relocate the ceremony by graduates and relatives alike, with a few grumbles and groans by the nostalgic seniors wishing for their final hurrah as Pumas to be at the very school where they spent the last four years.

Sure, it would be poetic to throw our caps on the very field where we watched our football team carry themselves through the state tournament towards their first championship appearance, but at what cost?

Last year, the temperature on May 29 in Gilbert was 100 degrees even. This year’s prediction is at 106, which — despite being a “dry heat” — is far too hot to be sitting outside for two hours packed together like sardines.

Now, there is no worry on how many family members and friends can attend the ceremony, with the max capacity for Wells Fargo well over 10 thousand. Have no fear if your family is as big as mine: the parking options are vast compared to the Flipside lot or corn fields by Perry. On that same note, there is no concern for those of us with relatives aplenty who do not have to fear the tossed around solution that by limiting tickets we could keep the ceremony on-campus.

Graduates, although our last moments as Pumas will not be on the field we know well, the focus of graduation is not so much on where you are, but who you are with. Whether we graduate from John Wrenn, Wells Fargo, or anywhere in between, our focus is far better spent on the excitement of a chapter coming to a close with the most loved people in our lives, no matter where that happens.

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