In an effort to reroute funds to other needed areas, UM will no longer host summer commencement. Photo by Jane Goodman.
The University of Montevallo is no longer hosting commencement exercises specifically for students graduating at the end of summer. This announcement was made through a broadcast email early in Dec. 2014. The email reported that funds previously reserved for summer ceremonies would be rerouted to other student programs and services. Additionally, students wishing to walk will be allowed to participate in the spring ceremony barring, they are registered for summer classes.
Marion Brown, the school’s director of events and calendar, is in charge of graduation ceremonies and brought this proposal to the Student Government Association in the fall term, looking for feedback.
“Approximately $7,000 went toward summer commencement each year, and we averaged 100 students for each graduation,” Brown says. “Due to recent changes in financial aid, that number is getting lower because many students are unable to even afford the classes required for them to graduate in August. It makes sense, then, to put that money where students can more appreciate it.” The director of events also says she has not received any negative feedback from students regarding the recent change, but has also not heard anything positive.
“It seems like it makes the most sense,” says junior special education student Sarah Gragnani. “Most students would probably prefer the opportunity to walk with the majority of their classmates in the spring.”
One notable fact is that honors will not be printed in the program for summer graduates as their final grade standings will not yet be known. “In a way, if I knew I were graduating with honors, I would like to have those printed,” junior mass communication Haley Myers says. “That’s my moment to shine. At the same time, I would also like to be able to just graduate and move on with my life, sharing in the special ceremony with friends and family. I don’t know what I would do if I was told I couldn’t have my own ceremony in the summer. I don’t think I would be terribly upset.”
Brown says she has always enjoyed having Palmer graduation ceremonies, and it is a little emotional letting the tradition go. Despite seeing the tradition end, Brown is glad to help the school with fiscal responsibility.