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Notre Dame prepares for Commencement protests, bad weather

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -

Former Indiana Governor Mike Pence is set to be the University of Notre Dame’s first ever vice president commencement speaker.

And while several students, faculty, and other community members are focused on protesting his homecoming, schools officials are spending their time worrying about the weather.

Friday, ABC 57 found out the university is preparing for what could be a disastrous outcome during Sunday’s 172nd commencement

Paul Browne, the school’s vice president for public affairs says if the weather doesn’t hold on Sunday, tens of thousands of people could miss seeing their loved ones graduate.

Rain or shine, 3,000 Notre Dame students will graduate Sunday.

But the question is, will their family get to see the special moment?

According to Browne, the university’s biggest concern is the nightmare scenario that reports of thunderstorm with lightning during commencement, actually happens which would force a relocation to Purcell Pavilion in the Joyce Center.

“Let me give you a scale of why that’s so concerning, we expect up to 40 thousand people, we can accommodate that if its outside, if we have to call because of weather and move it to the Purcell Pavilion, maximum we could have 7 to 9 thousand people so that means we would disappoint literally tens of thousands of family members, many of whom are already here,” said Browne.

Browne says the university has had multiple meetings with the secret service about whether or not to relocate the ceremony. He says a decision is expected by Saturday night. 

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