Some students upset by last-minute change in UTB graduation date

The graduation ceremony for the University of Texas at Brownsville was originally set for Saturday.

But UTB officials moved it to Friday because they feared the rain forecasted for tomorrow could force them to cancel the ceremony.

For some students, it meant some of their family members will not see them receive their degrees.

With cap and gown in tow, those UTB graduates were in a rush on Friday to get to their final exams just hours before walking the stage.

Elisa Ponce said the university alerted everyone about the change on Thursday evening.

Ponce said her dad was on his way to Austin to pick up her brother so that both would be back in time for the graduation on Saturday.

But her dad had to make a u-turn with the date change and her brother will not see her graduate. "I'm pretty sad about it it's like a big moment and he's my brother and part of my family but there's nothing really we could do, Ponce said.

Psychology major Suzie Alexander was upset because the change affected her family's plans to fly down from Fort Worth to watch her graduate.

She said her aunt had to cancel a flight that was already paid for.

"She's a nurse and so her schedule is not flexible at all, Alexander said. I don't know what kind of strings she pulled, but she's somehow making it down here with my cousin and my brother. I was really upset about it. There's no reason for it to be so last minute."

Both Ponce and Alexander said they would've preferred postponing the graduation a week or moving it indoors.

UTB officials sent a statement saying they opted for the outside ceremony on Friday accommodate the thousands of people expected to attend.

University officials apologized for any inconveniences.

Officials made arrangements for students scheduled to take finals at a time that interfered with the graduation.