To mark the end of their school careers and the start of a new chapter in their lives, Kansas University graduates will be marching through the Campanile Memorial and down the hill to Memorial Stadium Sunday morning.
The Commencement procession began at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
The official ceremony will began at about 11:30 a.m. when Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little addresses the graduates.
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Campus is getting busy as graduates and their families arrive. Among the hot spots is the Jayhawk in front of Strong Hall, where a crowd has formed. While a nice breeze is blowing, the day will certainly be a warm and humid one.
Updated 10 a.m.
We just visited with Gary and Lou McClelland, 1969 KU graduates who never had the chance to walk down the hill. Today they will. Wearing gowns and class of 2011 medals, they stood in front of Strong Hall sharing college memories from more than forty years ago.
Updated 11:35 a.m.
All the KU graduates have made it down the hill and are sitting in the stadium. The commencement ceremony is about to begin with lots of cheering and clapping. Earlier as students were waiting to walk, they celebrated the day with balloons, champagne and lots of pictures.
Updated 11:50 a.m.
Dan Lykins with the Kansas Board of Regents was the first to speak to the 2011 KU graduates. He bestowed on them three wishes.
He hoped that they had forged a special relationship with at least one teacher during their time at KU. He wished that they found success and a sense of purpose with a greater social good. And, he asked that they not lose their idealism.
"Today you are students. Tomorrow you are part of the KU Alumni Association," Lykins said. "You are part of Jayhawk Nation. I know you will make that membership very proud."
Updated 12:15 p.m.
The presentation of degrees is underway. As usual, candidates of the KU School of Medicine had their typical champagne shower when their school were announced.
The presentation follows Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little's farewell speech. She urged the graduates to make promises to themselves to "make a living and a life" after graduation. She asked students to take out their smart phones and take pictures of themselves, which will be posted on Facebook to help students remember that promise.
"All of us here today, your parents, your family, your friends, your professors, have great expectations of each of you. But none of those are greater than the expectations you should have for yourself," Little said.