© 2024 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
PBS, NPR and local perspective for western Mass.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Metal Detectors At Graduation: A First For UMass Amherst

A group of people walk to their seats before the 2016 UMass Amherst commencement at McGuirk Stadium.
Jerrey Roberts
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
A group of people walk to their seats before the 2016 UMass Amherst commencement at McGuirk Stadium.

For the first time ever at a UMass Amherst commencement ceremony, graduates, their families and friends on Friday will go through metal detectors.

There are 22 gates set up to screen the 25,000 people expected at the undergraduate ceremony at McGuirk Stadium.

The added security is not in response to any specific threat, according to Tony Maroulis, executive director of external relations and university events.

"There is no doubt that security protocols are all in response to what is going on in the world, but there's not any one particular thing that's happening here," Maroulis said Thursday.

Maroulis does not expect the metal detectors to create long lines. He said some people show up hours early. And he said he doubts it will be much of a surprise, as metal detectors are becoming the norm at large events.

Other schools, like Boston University and University of Florida, have had security like this in place for a few years.

This comes at an added cost to the $630,000 ceremony, though Maroulis wouldn't say how much.

The security crew is the same one used at Gillette Stadium for football games and concerts.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."
Related Content