CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University is moving its annual commencement to Saturday, beginning with its 140th annual ceremony on June 13 in 2009.

OSU, which for years has had its commencement on Sunday, decided to make the change after input from students and numerous groups on campus, according to Kavinda Arthenayake, director of conference services at OSU and chair of the commencement committee.

"Students typically get done with finals by Friday and then have to wait until Sunday for commencement when many are launching their careers with new jobs on that Monday," Arthenayake said. "Sunday also has been an inconvenient day for families who have other obligations - including Father's Day, which frequently falls on the same day as our commencement."

OSU also will hold commencement earlier in the day in 2009, starting at 11 a.m. in Reser Stadium. Past ceremonies began either at 1 or 2 p.m.

University officials say the earlier start is aimed in part at avoiding the midday heat, which can take a toll on graduates' families - particularly young and elderly family members. Travel concerns also played a role in the decision.

"Our goal is to make commencement as safe, convenient and enjoyable as possible for our graduates and their families," said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president. "The change to Saturday is part of our ongoing efforts to improve commencement experiences for all participants."

OSU has held commencement on Sunday since 1962, according to university archivist Larry Landis. In previous years, commencement was held on Monday with a Sunday baccalaureate service.

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Kavinda Arthenayake,