Kean student doles out the dough for extra commencement tickets


Can you hook up Annaphene Roberson with some undergraduate commencement tickets? Credit: Rebecca Panico

By Rebecca Panico | Published April 14, 2016

As one Kean student prepares to toss her cap at commencement, another thought preoccupies her mind: obtaining enough tickets for friends and family to witness the moment.

Annaphene Roberson, a 22-year-old sociology major, has designated the six tickets Kean gives to graduating students to her immediate family for the ceremony at the Prudential Center on May 19. But that leaves no room for her close friends.

“I have a set group of friends, y’know, we’ve all been in the same school since elementary school,” Roberson explained. “I want them to be there [at graduation] because I’m the first out of the group to graduate.”

Her last resort is to buy tickets from other graduating students. But hunting down those who are willing to sell theirs is a tall task.

MORE: Astronaut, photographer announced as 2016 commencement speakers

The people who absolutely must go are her mom, dad, sister and niece. Roberson recently reconnected with her long-lost brother and would like him and his mom to also come.

“The school gave me six. I’m getting somebody to give me two. I still need five more,” said Roberson.

Count them: that’s 13 people she’s trying to squeeze in. She already found a student willing to sell two tickets for $20 a piece on a Facebook group for the graduating class of 2016.

But with five more tickets needed, Roberson has her work cut out for her.

“People were talking about something like $30, $40 a ticket.”

Would she pay that?

“No. I want to pay $5 a ticket.”

Five dollars a ticket? That’s it?

“Look, I’ll go up to $20,” she reluctantly conceded.

Roberson said some type of system should be in place where students who don’t plan to go to commencement report that to the university. In turn, the university could sell unwanted tickets to students like herself.

“You should have by a certain time to say I’m coming or I’m not coming. If not, those tickets should be available to other people because there’s going to be so many empty seats for people who just already decided I’m not coming, but haven’t said anything.”

For Roberson, she’s not going for the undergraduate commencement speaker — Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton — who she says she’s never heard of.

“Honestly, the fact that Rutgers has Barack Obama coming blows us out of the water,” she said with a shrug and an eye roll.

Roberson is simply going to “share the experience with my family.”

Those interested in selling their commencement tickets to Roberson should contact her at

Rebecca Panico may be reached at Follow The Tower on Twitter@KeanTower. Find The Tower on Facebook.

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