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Univ. redesigns commencement

The university announced that it will be re-shaping its plans for the 2023 commencement, according to an email sent to community members on Dec. 15. Commencement is set to happen on May 21, according to the university’s event calendar. 

Members of the graduating class of 2023 received an email on Oct. 20 asking for feedback on the format they would like commencement to take. According to the email, “University Events is leading a re-design review of Commencement in an effort to improve the student and parent experience –please take a moment to review the two proposals outlined and indicate your preference by taking this short survey.” The survey closed to students on Oct. 25. 

The re-design involves the shaping of the weeks leading up to commencement as well, according to the email sent on Dec. 15. The university noted that they want to ensure “ all our graduates’ hard work and achievements are recognized with the pomp and ceremony they deserve.” 

The graduate reception, planned for May 19, has been shifted from 4 – 6 p.m. to 1 – 4 p.m., according to the email. The event will also include new programming that highlights specific individual achievements; more details will be released regarding the specifics of the events later in the spring 2023 semester. 

Additionally, the university will be “streamlining traffic, parking, and most importantly minimizing anxiety and maximizing the joy [commencement] will bring” by having the traditional commencement ceremony in the morning followed by a similarly programmed ceremony for the graduate schools in the afternoon, according to the email. 

The commencement ceremonies for both undergraduate and graduate students will allow all members of the graduating class to walk across the stage in Gosman Sports and Convocation Center with their names read aloud. In addition, individual achievements will be reflected on the “largest screens available, surrounded by their classmates, friends and family,” according to the email. 

A new addition to the program is that each graduate will be able to invite six guests. The class of 2022 was allowed four guests each, according to the email. The university also plans to have “intimate celebratory receptions recognizing individual achievements” before the large commencement ceremony on May 21. These smaller receptions will be held May 15-19, though earlier dates can be offered if needed. 

There will be a separate event held for graduating Ph.D. students. There will be a hooding ceremony which will be an inaugural event. For trustees, the Fellows Breakfast event will be replaced with a Fellows Lunch. This, according to the email, will allow trustees “the flexibility to attend both ceremonies if desired.”

More information on commencement will be released to stakeholders in early January to decide on programing and planning dates, according to the email.

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