This spring's commencement ceremony will largely mirror the 2009 ceremony, though some adjustments have been made to reduce overcrowding in Wilson Ice Arena, where dual ceremonies will be held on May 15.
Graduation was moved into the arena for the first time in recent memory last year because budgetary constraints would not allow for the construction of an outdoor stadium in the B-parking lot behind Saratoga Terrace. Though many seniors were upset with the way the decision was handled, the indoor location provided the unforeseen benefit of shelter when a rainstorm hit the campus last May.
Like last year, graduates will attend one of two ceremonies based on their primary academic major. Each student will have the opportunity to reserve up to five tickets for guests.
"Logistically, [last year's ceremony] ran extremely well," said Andrea Klein, director of campus scheduling and events. "We really were pleased with how things ran. From my observation, it appears that we were able to serve [the graduates] very well in terms of a beautiful ceremony inside a controlled environment."
Klein noted that one hitch the 2009 ceremony ran into was an unexpectedly high number of guests using wheelchairs. Klein said that her department would be "intentionally and purposely" educating graduates to think about the family they are bringing and any accommodations they might require. She also said that this year's ceremony would have more external and internal signs to help guests navigate the parking lots and athletic center.
"I was very pleased with the presentation in the arena," said Polly Radosh, dean of the college. She said that the problem of the arena being packed too tightly will be alleviated with a slight redistribution of the majors allocated into the two sections as well as the creation of a separate ceremony for Master's degree recipients in Wadsworth Auditorium on May 8.
Specific highlights of the spring ceremony, including the commencement speaker, honorary degree recipients and senior orators, have not yet been revealed.