Commencement Canceled

About midway into the semester future graduates were told that there will be no fall commencement.

The Commencement Committee, comprised of Doug Ruch, college’s registrar, a few faculty members and co-chair Coletta Carter, assistant vice president for student development & special programs, recommended the cancellation of the Fall graduation.

Their recommendation was finalized on Thursday, April 5.

On Friday, Sept. 21, students received an email from the Office of the President, inviting fall graduates to attend the Spring, May 13 ceremony to walk across the stage.

“When I first read the email I was disappointed,” said Brittney Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick is one of the many graduates no longer planning to attend the commencement ceremony. Fitzpatrick decision was due to the delayed notification.

“That’s my fault. I’ll take responsibility for that,” said Watts. He confirms that he received notification from Dr. Vincent June, vice president for student affairs, in mid to late summer and admits that he was distracted by other things going on at the college.

According to Watts’ email, spring commencement is projected to save the college approximately $14,000.

“I think that’s mostly the equipment that has to be rented. The sound system, the light system, everything that has to be rented from outside vendors,” Watts explains. Having the commencement at the Atlanta Civic Center eliminates those costs because the supplies and equipment have already been made available.

After the spring 2013 ceremony, the commencement committee will assess if the Atlanta Civic Center met the needs of the graduation program and determine if another venue will be more suitable.

“Everyone will get his or her diploma right after the fall term, they are officially graduated from the institution,” Watts remarks. “You don’t have to go through a ceremony to graduate.”

Republished for informational purposes only – Originally posted by Victoria Song.

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