Commencement 2010 sets indoor record

A gathering estimated at 4,800 people packed the Kress Events Center for UW-Green Bay’s spring 2010 commencement on Saturday, May 15. It is believed to be the largest indoor attendance for an on-campus event in UW-Green Bay’s 40-year history.

Commencement at Kress Center

All but a relative few of the fixed Kress Center seats were filled for the mid-day ceremony. (With east end-zone seating behind the stage not in use, available fixed seating was about 3,800, Kress Center officials said.) About 700 graduates occupied temporary seating on the main floor. Several hundred faculty and staff members, administrators, platform-party guests and visitors — either seated on stage or on the floor, or using handicapped-accessible areas on the main concourse — accounted for the rest of the record crowd.

Previous, but smaller, near-capacity crowds at the Kress included May 2009 commencement and the fall 2007 Switchfoot/Relient K concert that helped open the facility. As for outdoor gatherings on the University grounds, it is believed that well in excess of 5,000 people were present at various times for Bayfest activities during the 1990s, and large crowds were common up until about three years ago when spring commencement ceremonies were customarily staged along the main entrance boulevard; reliable crowd estimates, however, are lacking.