Venue chosen for 2015 CommencementThe Office of the Provost announced Tuesday in an email that the 2015 Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark on Monday, May 18 at 5 p.m., ending a decades-long tradition of staging the year-end event at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford.
This decision to switch locations follows the IZOD Center’s seemingly abrupt closure last month when the state-owned arena was shut down after a vote held by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
The venue had accumulated almost $9 million in losses and the remainder of its scheduled events were moved to the Prudential Center, according to Nj.com. The Prudential Center in Newark is eight miles away from the IZOD Center. It is also the location of commencement ceremonies for the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers-Newark and Kean University.
The Prudential Center is also the primary host of Seton Hall men’s basketball home games.
“The Prudential Center is truly a first-class event facility,” said Matt Sweeney, assistant director of athletics. “In addition to being the home for Seton Hall men’s basketball for the last eight seasons, the venue has hosted numerous prestigious national affairs, concerts and sporting events. I have every bit of confidence that it would also be a top-notch graduation venue.”
Alexa Sibayan, a senior, welcomes the change, “I feel like it will seem more suitable to the Seton Hall community,” she said. “Seton Hall’s Law graduates have their commencement at Prudential so it will be gratifying for Seton Hall undergraduates to experience the same venue.”
Some seniors like Jinita Patel are concerned about the later time of the event.
“The time change is a little annoying because my family was planning a graduation dinner after the ceremony,” she said. “Now the ceremony starts at 5 p.m. and it will probably run late into the night, considering the number of students.”
For the most part, the new venue seems to be well-received.
“I am very honored to be part of SHU’s Class of 2015 as we will be the first class to have graduation at the Prudential Center,” Sibayan added. “Prudential has had bleeding blue SHU basketball fans, so it is time for us to bleed blue in our caps and gowns at commencement.”
Mary Marshall can be reached at email@example.com.