CLA graduates forced to combine with Fisher College ceremony
Towson held its 147th commencement exercises, the largest graduation ceremonies to ever take place, Wednesday, May 23 through Friday, May 25.
The number of graduates was so great that a portion of the graduates from the College of Liberal Arts had to be separated from the regular CLA ceremony, and were combined with the graduation of the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics.
Assistant Provost Toyia Younger said that fire marshals told her that the prospective number of graduates and spectators at the CLA ceremony would have violated the maximum capacity of the arena.
“We decided to pair them up with Fisher because it was the same day as the CLA ceremony, and Fisher is one of the smaller colleges,” Younger said. “It worked out well because we distinctly separated the two colleges, and a faculty member from the CLA was present and the graduates were identified as CLA students, rather than Fisher students.”
Younger said the University may have to separate CLA students again during winter commencement, because of the number of students that were accepted to the University during 2008 and 2009.
“There was a huge increase,” she said. “So we went to enrollment services about how many people are being accepted, and when they showed us a report, we noticed that the numbers have leveled off since then.”
Younger said the opening of the new Tiger Arena in May 2013 will allow for more seating space for graduates and their families, allowing for a larger number of guests allowed.
To select which students would be moved from the main CLA ceremony, students were notified to pick up their cap and gowns before a certain date, and if they picked up their orders after that deadline, then they would be separated from the CLA ceremony.
The University also considered holding a separate ceremony altogether for the remaining CLA students, according to Younger.
Younger said she felt the ceremonies couldn’t have gone any better.
“We got a lot of hits on the online stream,” she said. “Overall, I think it went great. At first some of the CLA students were disappointed, but it ended up working out and we didn’t get any complaints from the graduates.”