The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Students express mixed feelings over eliminated mid-year commencement


With Marquette’s final winter commencement approaching, upcoming graduates are expressing mixed feelings about the decision to eliminate the mid-year ceremony as well as confusion over how the new commencement schedule applies to graduates of specific colleges.

The decision to eliminate December commencement was announced in April by the Marquette Leadership Council and the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate. According to an April news brief, the university made the decision in order to focus its energy and resources on supporting the May commencement ceremony at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The last winter commencement will take place Dec. 15, and students are unsure whether the benefits of eliminating the ceremony truly outweigh the costs.

Andrea Bellovary will be one of the students graduating this December from the College of Arts & Sciences. She said she is excited about graduating, but many of her friends chose to walk in the May commencement.

“I only know of three people who are graduating and walking in December, so a lot of my close friends chose to walk in May or are finishing their programs and walking in May,” Bellovary said. “But I really like the option to walk in December because it is right after I completed my undergraduate.”

Bellovary said she thinks the December graduation was a great option for students who wanted to move past undergraduate years and onto their post undergraduate careers.

“I do not know where I will be in May, so if my only option was to walk in May, I don’t think that would have been a good option,” she said. “Especially for those students who will start full-time work positions after they graduate, coming back to walk in a delayed graduation ceremony may be inconvenient and odd for them.”

Rafael Torres, who is also graduating in December from the College of Arts & Sciences, expressed similar concerns over traveling back to Milwaukee months after graduating.

“If they live far away, then why would they come back?” Torres said. “Or if they were from close, they may have already started their full time job. I think most people just want to finish their undergraduate and move on with their lives.”

The decision was made in consultation with the University Leadership Council and the executive committee of the Academic Senate, with Marquette Student Government also briefed on the future of Marquette’s commencement activities. In response, Sam Schultz, MUSG President and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said MUSG passed legislation to cut its senior speaker involvement with winter commencement. Schultz said he believes cutting the winter commencement was partly for financial reasons.

“I think a potential downfall is that it will (theoretically) be more difficult to get already graduated seniors to come back for a spring ceremony (if they wish to walk),” Schultz said in an email. “However, I would much rather the university cut this ceremony instead of make wider cuts elsewhere.”

The specific revisions that were made to the policy include that undergraduate and master’s students and health sciences professional students who complete their degree requirements in the summer or fall term may participate in the May commencement the same calendar year or the May commencement the following calendar year.

Doctoral students, students in the School of Dentistry and Law school students are also encouraged to return for the May commencement. However, doctoral students and law students who graduate after the May commencement will have hooding ceremonies hosted by their respective colleges in December.

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