AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Preparation is underway at Hampshire College in Amherst. The school is getting ready for graduation on Saturday.

College school officials said that about 300 students will be walking across the stage Saturday.

Students we talked to called this graduation bittersweet since the college is facing an uncertain financial future.

Hampshire College is expecting a big turn out for their 49th commencement.

"Being here for four years has been really amazing, a lot of great memories, a lot of hardships," said Kyra Kabler.

Kabler, a senior, said she is happy to be graduating from Hampshire.

"I am proud to be an alum from here because Hampshire is so different and it give students opportunities that might not have been," Kabler added.

This year, the college announced it was facing financial difficulty and made several changes to help cut costs, including cutting 24 staff members by June.

Next year, the school will operate as a smaller college with just about 600 students compared to 1,400 students in years past.

"Hampshire College is leading a major fundraising campaign. Currently, we are looking to rebuild and restructure the college both for the short-term and the long-term," said Hampshire College spokesperson John Courtmanche.

Courtmanche said the school is looking for major donors.

"We are looking to raise $20 million in the first year of the campaign and the pulmonary goal is $100 million over five years," Courtmanche added.

For Kabler, she said whatever the future holds for Hampshire, she's proud to be walking across the stage.

"No matter what happens with Hampshire, I hope that they stay independent and stay afloat, but no matter what happened, I will definitiely be proud," Kabler said.

The commencement is open to the public and starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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