Commencement 2015
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Commencement Week 2015:
Rethinking a treasured tradition

Commencement -- and all the excitement and pomp and circumstance that accompany it -- is one of Rowan's most treasured traditions.

Last year, the University graduated its largest class ever, necessitating moving the ceremony from the University Green to Wackar Stadium. Unfortunately, torrential rain forced the festivities indoors. Accommodating the number of participants and guests under those circumstances proved to be unmanageable.

We listened to feedback and learned. We determined that the best way to improve the experience as our class sizes grow was to rethink Commencement.

Six ceremonies in four days
Our research found that many large universities such as ours hold their commencement ceremonies at indoor stadiums in order to eliminate the possibility of rescheduling the event because of inclement weather. They also follow the larger commencement ceremony with smaller, more intimate college-level ceremonies on the same day or later in the week.

Rowan does not have an indoor facility that can accommodate 12,000 students and guests-nor is there a venue in South Jersey that can-so the best solution is to plan smaller events and spread them across an entire week rather than trying to host all of them on one day (See new schedule).

The benefits of the new approach are:

  • Ceremonies will return to the University Green! There is no setting more beautiful or historic.
  • Graduate and undergraduate programs will be combined by discipline into one program, as was the practice just a few years ago.
  • Unlimited number of guests may attend events held on the University Green. However, there will be a four-ticket limit per student for indoor venues.
  • A smaller number of students and guests each day will alleviate traffic and parking issues and make getting a hotel room and restaurant reservations easier.

Ceremonies will focus on themes more aligned with colleges and disciplines of study.

Finals week to shift
To accommodate Commencement Week, the end of the spring academic calendar has been adjusted.

Finals Week: Tuesday to Monday, May 5-11
Semester Concludes: Monday, May 11
Commencement Week: Tuesday to Friday, May 12-15

Download the 2015 Commencement Week Schedule