by Evi Arthur / Editor-in-Chief
Starting this year, all students graduating will have a commencement ceremony in the Spring.
On Jan. 30, the Office of the President announced that, starting this year, there will be no December commencement ceremonies. Going forward, all graduating students who will be participating or “walking” during commencement, will be participating in the Spring.
“One of the things I try to do is look at everything in the university as ‘does it still make sense from year to year to year to do the same thing?” said President Ali Malekzadeh. He said after he looked at the “cost and benefits” of December commencement and compared it to other universities in the area, it made more sense to just have one ceremony a year.
According to the president’s office, this new setup will also allow for celebratory activities the day before commencement for graduating students and their families. “It makes sense to do a big ceremony, really big hooplah, and let the students participate with their families and do it that way,” Malekzadeh said.
Which ceremony students will attend and how many guest tickets they get will be decided by college and degree type. However, this is decided depending on how many students will be attending. Once school officials know how many students from each college will attend, then they try to make each ceremony even.
Although a limited number of guest tickets has been an issue for students in years prior, Malekzadeh doesn’t see this as a problem. “The reality is, close family members want to be at the reception itself, but then friends and colleagues and other family members would rather be in a more comfortable place until it’s done and you come out and celebrate,” he said. “If we see that everybody is participating then we need to come up with a way of adding tickets and adding overflow, reception areas and things like that.”
There will be two ceremonies each May. This year’s commencement ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 8 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The 2020 to 2021 school year ceremonies will take place on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 10 p.m. and 2 p.m.
“The students ultimately will be happy with the results, because we’ll do it bigger and better, with more fanfare, more fun and more pictures,” Malekzadeh said.