March 18, 2014
No one in Preble County has been to more graduation ceremonies than I have. In my 33-plus years working with schools, I have attended over 140, with many being held in Millett Hall on the Miami Campus. Unfortunately that venue does not have the many features we had on the old football field.
You see, Millett Hall does have adequate parking with true handicapped access. It has enough seats for everyone and everyone will be able to see, hear and better appreciate the significance of the graduation ceremony. Grandma in her high heels does not have to park blocks away or have to walk across a gravel parking lot or be forced to sit with the sun in her eyes on hard wooden benches in 90 degree temps as some wish to continue.
Millett Hall’s atmosphere brings pomp and circumstance to a ceremony that for many children is the culmination of their educational career. The new location will hopefully also persuade those who come to this great event in cutoff shorts and a tee shirt to rethink what to wear, as graduation is indeed a formal event.
Now, for those claiming that school tradition is the football field for graduation, you have no idea how wrong you are. The true tradition at Eaton High School for graduation ceremonies has been “move to a larger venue when the current one is too small”. The auditorium on Cherry Street was too small so graduation was moved to the gym. The gym got to be too small and the ceremony was moved to the football field. That location has been too small for decades and I have photographs clearly showing more people standing than sitting. Tradition called decades ago for a move to a larger venue.
Seeing how wonderful the graduations held off campus were for the other local schools, I approached the Eaton School Board many years ago on two occasions, asking them to consider a move and clearly showing a move to Millett Hall could save the school thousands of dollars a year in rental fees and staff time. Each time the board voted three to two to not move it. There were even parents of seniors who testified that their child’s ceremony was ruined by rain and the thirty plus people who they had invited to the ceremony that were forced to stay home.
If all other local schools can secure a venue which allows for everyone to be able to attend, have a seat and appreciate what a significant event this is, why has Eaton taken so long to finally follow school tradition and move to a place that provides everything the football field never did?
While the football field has significance for some of the class, CTC has even more significance to many other seniors. So should we hold graduation there? This ceremony is not about the few, but rather the many, and our graduates deserve a graduation ceremony that is dignified, formal and allows everyone to see and hear and appreciate the significance of this hallowed event.
I do not Facebook but others have shown me some of the vile and idiotic comments and the outright lies being posted which essentially go all over the world for everyone to read. I can only imagine what anyone with intelligence reading those comments must think of us. Shame on you small-minded people.