Commencement 2005 What will it look like?
Following the 2004 Commencement ceremony that was marked by inclement weather, the Office of Presidential Events and Programs, along with key partners, executed an in-depth evaluation of possible alternatives for future Commencement ceremonies. The argument for change was that Cowell Stadium, an outdoor venue, afforded little shelter in the case of rain and/or other extreme weather. The first step was to estimate the number of students who would be participating in Commencement…
Eligible Graduates According to the UNH Registrar’s Office, students who are eligible to participate in the 2005 Commencement ceremony are from five different graduating terms: September ‘04 December ‘04 May ‘04 September ‘05 December ‘05 If every student attended commencement, there would be approximately 3,639 graduates. This includes undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. A figure of 2800 was determined by taking into account average attendance rates over the past three years and that, on average, about 10% more students file for graduation than actually complete their course of study in time.
Whittemore Arena 7650 Johnson Theatre 700 Strafford Room 300 Iddles Auditorium 220 Lundholm Gymnasium 3000 MUB Granite State Room 700 Murkland Auditorium 246 Great Bay Room 300 The next step was to determine the maximum seating capacity* of the largest on-campus indoor venues. * Determined by the Fire Department
Proposal #1 A university-wide ceremony in the Whittemore Arena Friday night, May 20, followed by individual college ceremonies staggered in the Lundholm Gymnasium and the Whittemore Arena on Saturday, May 21. Because of the seating capacity at the Whittemore Center, the Friday nigh university-wide celebration would allow graduates to receive only 1 ticket for the Whittemore Arena and 1 ticket for a simulcast broadcast in Lundholm Gymnasium. Breakdown 2800 students + 255 staff = 3055 Capacity 7650 - 3055 students & staff = 4595 available seats One guest ticket each for 2800 undergrads + 160 PhDs = 2960 seats Available seats 4595 - guest tickets 2960 = 1635 remaining seats - not enough to issue another ticket to every graduate.
Proposal #1 continuedSchedule for Saturday individual college ceremonies in the Whittemore Arenanote: the committee was committed to ticket equity, resulting in empty seats for some school’s ceremonies * This number drives equal distribution of tickets to each school and college
Proposal #1 continuedSchedule for Saturday individual graduation ceremonies in the Lundholm Gymnasiumnote: the committee was committed to ticket equity, resulting in empty seats for some schools’ ceremonies
Proposal #2Two Group Ceremonies in the Whittemore Arena on Saturday, May 21.note: the committee was committed to ticket equity, resulting in empty seats for some school’s ceremonies
Proposal #3A university-wide ceremony in Cowell Stadium with the Whittemore Arena and/or the Lundholm Gymnasium set up with a simulcast broadcast in case of inclement weather.
The three proposals were presented to different UNH constituencies for their feedback. An online poll of students was conducted in addition to meetings with student leadership, student athletes, the parents association, and the school deans. The results of these evaluations were…
Acknowledging the overwhelming support from students for the third proposal, Commencement will again be held at Cowell Stadium with the addition of a simulcast indoors at the Whittemore Center available for people who would prefer to be indoors because of inclement weather or any other reason.