Fall 2015 Commencement to be final mid-year ceremony
December 2015 will mark the last Fall Commencement held by Binghamton University.
After discussions with Student Association leaders, faculty governance leaders, and the University's senior leadership, it was decided that holding a ceremony for the relatively small number of students who opted to participate in Fall Commencement exercises after completing requirements in the summer or fall (just over 400 in December 2014) is not justified by the cost (about $70,000) and the time spent by staff in planning and executing the event. In addition, the unpredictable December weather leaves a fall ceremony open to the possibility of cancellation.
Commencement has evolved during the past two years, as the University has held eight Spring Commencement ceremonies. Each of the five undergraduate schools hold ceremonies for their students, and each of Harpur College's three divisions host commencement proceedings. In addition, a ceremony for graduate students recognizes students receiving doctoral and masters degrees.
The Spring Commencement proceedings are highly personal. Each student has his or her name read as he or she crosses the stage, and individuals receiving special recognitions are identified. Each ceremony features a student speaker representing his or her school or, in the case of Harpur College, division. By encouraging students who complete their degree requirements during the summer or fall to participate in Spring Commencement exercises, the University hopes to include them in the more personalized ceremonies it has created.
"Between the expense, the sizable staff support required, the vagaries of December weather, and the number of students who opt to participate, we believe that it is wise to join many of our peer institutions who do not offer Fall Commencement or who have cancelled them," said Donald Nieman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
Among the University's 25 peer institutions, 13 do not hold a fall or winter commencement. In recent years, large institutions like the University of Arizona, the University of Delaware, and the University of Connecticut have opted out of a fall ceremony.
Binghamton University has held a fall commencement since 2007