Monday, March 27, 2006

Marquette’s Arts & Sciences College: Repeating the Graduation Fiasco

Until 2005, the Arts & Sciences Graduation Ceremony was always a pleasant affair. As we described it in a post last May:
This afternoon ceremony has been an especial favorite of faculty, since they have an opportunity to say goodby to students, meet parents, and sometimes even pose for a photo or two. An informal ceremony, it always involved faculty and students forming up by department and marching to the stage behind a standard. Students would walk across the stage one at a time, get their diplomas (actually, diploma covers) and shake hands with the Dean. They would then leave the stage and shake hands with their department’s faculty, who would form a sort of receiving line. Within a few short minutes it was over, with faculty and students having time to socialize before both groups turned in their rented gowns and drifted away.
But in 2005, in response to the complaints of some parents, the ceremony was changed.

The new version has faculty and graduates all sitting together for about an hour and a half, listening to speeches, and then watching each and every graduate cross the stage and shake the Dean’s hand.

Afterward, the scene was a complete shambles.

The new version of the ceremony was universally unpopular with faculty. We panned it in a blog post at the time.

But according to a knowledgeable source in the Arts & Sciences College, the ceremony in 2006 will be essentially the same as in 2005. Same tedious proceedings. Same limited (almost to being nonexistent) opportunity for faculty to bid farewell to students.

The apparently reason is the belief that parents want this kind of ceremony. “That’s the recognition they want [for their kids]” our source said.


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