Seton Hall’s graduation plans have changed once again.
The University announced on Friday that the 2017 Spring Baccalaureate Commencement will be one ceremony held at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J.
“In response to the overwhelming desire of the undergraduate student body, the Seton Hall administration has secured a larger off-campus location for this year’s Spring Baccalaureate Commencement ceremony which will take place as scheduled on Monday, May 15,” reads a statement from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. “The new location will be the PNC Bank Arts Center.”
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Each graduating senior will receive four guest tickets for seating in the venue’s covered amphitheater in addition to unlimited guest tickets for PNC’s lawn area. Graduate student commencement ceremonies will take place as previously planned.
Prior to Friday’s announcement, Seton Hall planned on having three on-campus ceremonies in which students were to be divided based on their colleges. The plan was a result of not being able to secure Prudential Center, where the University has held its last few commencements.
As previously reported in The Setonian, some students were displeased with the plan, citing that they would not be able to walk alongside their friends. Additionally, tickets would have been limited, with Seton Hall set to offer four in-person tickets for ceremonies in the field house plus another three for a simulcast set up in Walsh Gymnasium. Now, however, those problems are no longer issues.
Kevin Lagarenne, a senior accounting major, expressed that he and his friends are pleased with Seton Hall’s change in plans.
“I could tell some seniors were starting to give up hope, but having heard the news, everyone is joyful and thankful that our voices were heard and made an impact,” he said. “My friends and I are very excited that our college stories can end on the same page.”
Bernadette McVey, director of Academic Events, Initiatives and Planning, further emphasized that the graduating student body played a role in the change of plans.
“The bottom line is that the University heard the concerns of the students and their families,” she told The Setonian in an email.
Seton Hall President A. Gabriel Esteban agreed with McVey. He also joked that he is looking forward to sitting through just one ceremony.
“If I was just to be selfish, I guess sitting through one instead of three [ceremonies is better] obviously,” Esteban said laughing. “I think it’s better for the students because we received a lot of feedback but that decision [to have commencement at PNC] – all the credit goes to the Provost’s Office. There the ones that make the determination.”
Editor’s Note: The Setonian will have more on this story as more information becomes available.
Gary Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GaryHPhillips.