FORT WAYNE — This year’s celebration for recent graduates of Purdue University Fort Wayne has reached its apex with a special delivery. In recognition of their significant achievements, the newest members of the Mastodon Alumni Community are receiving “Commencement in a Box.”
Keepsake boxes, nearly 1,500 in all, include:
- Diploma covers (for students who did not already have one)
- 2-color souvenir tassels
- Window clings
- License plate holders
- Balloons and confetti
- Athletic comp tickets
- Notes from university leaders
- Mastodon Alumni Community caps and welcome messages
Packages have already started arriving on doorsteps nationwide and internationally. The surprise was unveiled to the entire campus community via social media Wednesday. The posts included a video link featuring clips of the assembly process, well-wishes from university leaders, and reactions from several of the first recipients as they opened their boxes.
Because of safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Purdue Fort Wayne announced the cancellation of its 2020 commencement ceremony May 1. Since then, multiple efforts have been carried out to fill as much of that void as possible.
“COVID-19 continues to take us into uncharted territory,” said Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, chancellor, Purdue University Fort Wayne. “While nothing can fully replace the celebratory tone of our in-person commencement, we want all our recent graduates to know how honored we are to have helped them reach this important milestone in their lives. We hope this gesture is received warmly as we continue our shared journey to a healthy and prosperous future.”
Diplomas will be mailed separately to graduates in the next few weeks.
In addition to the keepsake boxes, college-specific celebrations that took place in May, and special-edition yard signs that were made available to members of the campus community during the past month, fall 2019, spring 2020, and summer 2020 graduates are also invited back to take part in the university’s next spring commencement ceremony scheduled for May 12, 2021. To date, more than 300 recent grads have already indicated they plan to attend.