South Bend, IN – Home to more than five university and college campuses, our community is in the midst of a large influx of visitors, as proud family members and friends travel to South Bend and Mishawaka to see their loved ones graduate. Roughly 10,000 visitors have already come to the area to experience the 2013 commencement season, according to university reports. Another 23,000 are expected to be in the stands this weekend as University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College students accept their degrees.
Commencement season will come to a close when Saint Mary’s College and the University of Notre Dame graduate a collective 2,463 young women and men from their undergraduate programs. An additional 396 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees from Notre Dame’s Graduate School, according to a Notre Dame press release. The Mendoza School of Business will also be graduating 422 master’s students, and the Law School will also see 197 students accepting their degrees. In total, 3,478 students will be graduating from the two universities this weekend.
“South Bend and Mishawaka are truly collegiate communities. The five primary colleges and universities holding commencements during this season provide an opportunity for our destination to play host to families and friends of graduates from across the country and world,” says Rob DeCleene, executive director for Visit South Bend Mishawaka. “Starting with Bethel in early May and culminating with Notre Dame and St. Mary’s this weekend, our communities will have benefited greatly from significant visitor spending and all to celebrate a very important occasion.”
Commencement season began the first weekend of May, with 575 students completing their degree at Bethel College in Mishawaka. Indiana University South Bend’s class of 1,064 students were next to graduate, with ceremonies having taken place on Tuesday, May 7. Holy Cross College held its 2013 commencement event on Saturday, May 11 with 75 students receiving their degrees.
The 33,000 family members and friends of these 5,000-plus graduates making their way to town for this special occasion will significantly impact the local economy. Hotels, dining establishments, shopping and attractions are all sure to experience a boost during this high-traffic time in our community.