Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Jennifer Turner Keeps Commencement Rolling
From set-up to speakers to the final recessional, Turner plans each ceremony down to the minute every year.
Ten thousand graduates. Fifty-nine thousand guests. Seven ceremonies. Three days.
And one woman oversees it all!
Jennifer Turner, special event coordinator for the President's Office, has been planning commencement since she joined the university in 2005. The planning process starts early and involves individuals from across campus.
According to Turner, without the help of Cox Arena, Physical Plant, Public Safety, Aztec Center, Aztec Recreation Center, Reprographics, Marketing and Communications, Aztec Shops, SDSU Bookstore and "the amazing commencement coordinators," the weekend celebration would not happen.
Down to the minute
Commencement is the largest event on campus each year, celebrating the culmination of students' hard work during their time at SDSU. From set-up to speakers to the final recessional, Turner plans each ceremony down to the minute.
"Planning commencement is a long and exciting process," Turner said. "Preparation starts in September and culminates with over 6,000 graduates participating in commencement and over 59,000 guests visiting the campus over the course of three days."
And while many would go crazy with the running around and last-minute challenges that inevitably arise during commencement weekend, Turner is like the "eye of the storm" with her calm demeanor and "ready for anything" attitude.
While Turner is busy throughout the three-day event, she appreciates special moments that remind her what it's all about.
"My favorite part of commencement weekend is watching students line up outside of L Lot for the processional and seeing their faces as they walk into Cox Arena, while their family and friends cheer for them," Turner said.
More about Turner
As special events coordinator for the Office of the President, Turner also helps plan other events throughout the year, including:
In her spare time, Turner enjoys traveling, spending time with her husband, Jamie, and their dog, Dexter, and cheering on the Philadelphia Phillies.