By Amanda Albert SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Syracuse University officials announced last week that the 2020 commencement ceremony will take place on the Shaw Quadrangle. The Carrier Dome will close in March, so renovations can be completed before the 2020 football season.
Ellen Mbuqe, Syracuse University’s Director of Media Relations, said the quad was chosen because of its capacity and central location.
“It is the hub of so much activity…so it does hold a very special spot for many students, alumni, and parents,” she said, adding that the quad is the only place on campus that can hold an unlimited number of people.
Although the quad is the largest location, having the commencement here does bring up some potential issues, including weather.
“We are in Central New York where the weather changes every hour,” Mbuqe said, “…if there would be inclement weather of any kind on commencement, during the ceremony, people are exploring other options of where it could be held and what that would look like.”
Newhouse Director of Administration Susan Nash added, “If it’s a beautiful day it’ll probably be nice, but if it’s not a beautiful day then I don’t know how they’re going to address some of the challenges that the weather might present.”
Not only are people worried about weather, but are also upset about the mere fact that graduation will not be inside the Dome. SU senior Ally Bovarnick is one of those people.
“I think it’s a tradition that every class above me has upheld and I think it’s really unfair that we’re not keeping that tradition alive,” Bovarnick said.
As a Syracuse alum who did graduate in the Dome, Nash said she would have been disappointed if this had happened to her class.
“Because the Dome is an iconic building, it’s the place that the freshmen have their opening convocation, and it’s kind of like the first experience together in the Dome and then the last experience together in the Dome,” Nash said.
Not only are changes happening to the Sunday commencement, but also to each school’s convocations. In previous years, all convocations took place on the Saturday before commencement. This year, however, several convocations will concur on Friday due to the lack of Dome space.
The Newhouse convocation ceremony will be taking place at Manley Field House this year. Nash is happy that the convocation will be inside, but she is “concerned about it being on Friday” because it is inconvenient for students and families.
Overall, Mbuqe is looking forward to the 2020 commencement.
“I think this is going to be really a historic moment for the class of ’20. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.