Commencement Expansion
May commencement to expand to three ceremonies

An increasing number of graduates and visitors supporting them on their special day will lead to Oswego adding a third May commencement ceremony starting in 2014.

Ceremonies on May 17, 2014, will unfold at 9 a.m. for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; 1 p.m. for the School of Business and School of Communication, Media and the Arts; and 4 p.m. for the School of Education, all in the Campus Center arena.

With numbers especially strong in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the May ceremony formerly featuring that school and Communication, Media and the Arts, graduates had begun to crowd even the large capacity of the Campus Center arena, said Michael Flaherty, who chairs the volunteer Public Ceremonies Community that coordinates commencement activities.

“We want to ensure a great send-off for our students culminating their academic experience,” Flaherty said. “Part of that pleasant experience is having their family and friends celebrate their success at commencement in the best way possible.”

Oswego will enroll its largest freshman class in decades this fall, which coupled with increasing completion rates meant the Public Ceremonies Committee had to consider some course to address capacity. They passed their thoughts to President’s Council, which approved the expansion of commencement activities.

“The Public Ceremonies Committee holds a critique after every graduation, and this is something we’ve watched and knew we needed to address,” Flaherty said. “We’ve enjoyed positive feedback from the December graduation, which is a smaller ceremony, so we know we want manageable numbers and good sightlines for guests.”

The committee strongly opposed restrictive options such as reducing the five tickets allocated per graduate, Flaherty noted. “Going to three May ceremonies will allow us to increase the number of commencement tickets graduates can receive for their family and friends,” he said.

(Posted: Aug 22, 2013)