Baylor Commencement producer serves on national stage
This weekend, thousands of Baylor students will become Baylor alumni as they cross the Ferrell Center stage. They’ll hear their names, shake hands with Judge Starr, and exit stage left, diploma in hand.
If only it were that simple. Orchestrating such a massive undertaking — with students, speakers, faculty, musicians and more — takes months of planning, plotting and practicing. Just like an orchestra needs a conductor, Commencement requires a leader who understands the roles of everyone in the event, knows where they’re supposed to be (and when) and has the ability to get them there. At Baylor, that person is Lois Ferguson, BA ’68, MSEd ’94, manager of commencement and facilities planning, and it’s safe to say that Commencement couldn’t take place without her.
When all goes according to plan, Ferguson’s efforts go largely unnoticed by the graduates and their parents, who aren’t thinking about logistics on graduation day. But even as she stays in the background, making sure the students shine on their big day, Ferguson’s talents have taken her to the forefront of commencement planning nationally.
The Baylor veteran is president-elect of the North American Association of Commencement Officers (NAACO), an organization that describes its members as “the standard bearers of an academic tradition reaching back a thousand years” and provides resources and networking for the men and women who make sure commencement ceremonies go off without a hitch.
Ferguson has been responsible for Baylor Commencement for more than a decade, and she was also co-chair for President Ken Starr’s inauguration in 2010. But her planning duties don’t stop with Baylor; she says her “first love” is weddings, and she serves as a wedding day consultant at weddings across Texas, making sure that they, too, run smoothly.
Sic ’em, Lois!