As the number of graduates of Case Western Reserve continues to grow, so do its commencement ceremonies: In May 2023, the university will switch to a “Commencement Week”—five days of festivities that begin with a convocation for all graduates on Wednesday, May 17, followed by diploma and award ceremonies for various schools throughout the week, ending Sunday, May 21.
While a day of commencement festivities historically created an exciting atmosphere, it led to strict limits for guest attendance for some ceremonies and sometimes taxed campus resources. This year the university launched a task force including school and campus leadership, commencement coordinators and other partners to develop ways to improve the experience for graduates and visitors.
“Commencement is a time to come together and celebrate our graduates. This new schedule gives all graduates the opportunity to enjoy our commencement events, and importantly, to include more family members and guests in this special time,” said President Eric W. Kaler. “I’m grateful to the Commencement Task Force for their work in ensuring that, moving forward, we continue to host commencement celebrations that engage our entire campus community and maximize our university venues.”
Moving convocation to a standalone event will ensure seating for all graduates—undergraduate, graduate and professional—and shorten the undergraduate diploma ceremonies. Plus, spreading diploma ceremonies over multiple days will give faculty, staff and students the opportunity to attend several events. Details of which degrees will be awarded at each ceremony are available on the commencement website’s Find Your Ceremony page.
“The new schedule is a positive change, especially for graduate and professional students. With the diploma ceremonies split across three days, each school has ample time and space to celebrate their newest alumni,” said Charles Rozek, vice provost for graduate education and academic and faculty affairs.
To allow undergraduate students to invite additional guests, the university will host two undergraduate diploma ceremonies at the Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center on Sunday, May 21. Students from the College of Arts and Sciences will graduate at 9 a.m., and the ceremony for Case School of Engineering, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and Weatherhead School of Management will begin at 1 p.m. All participating undergraduate students will receive a minimum of five guest tickets—two more than were granted in 2022.
“The helpful feedback we’ve received—from graduates, guests, faculty, staff and university leadership—on our previous undergraduate diploma ceremonies has informed this new schedule,” said Lou Stark, vice president for student affairs. “The task force effort was truly collaborative and will result in an improved commencement for years to come.”
Jeffrey Wolcowitz, dean of undergraduate studies, is confident this change will benefit current students and future classes.
“As our undergraduate class sizes grow, hosting two undergraduate diploma ceremonies clearly emerged as the best way to honor students, increase the number of guests they can invite and engage faculty,” he said.
4 p.m.: University Convocation (a celebration of all graduating students—open to all graduates, faculty and staff—which will not include guests) at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center
Friday, May 19
10 a.m.: Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences Diploma Ceremony at Maltz Performing Arts Center, Silver Hall
2 p.m.: School of Graduate Studies Diploma Ceremony at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center
Saturday, May 20
9 a.m.: School of Dental Medicine Diploma Ceremony at Maltz Performing Arts Center, Silver Hall
9 a.m.: School of Law Diploma Ceremony at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center
12:30 p.m.: Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing Graduate Diploma Ceremony at Maltz Performing Arts Center, Silver Hall
12:30 p.m.: Weatherhead School of Management Graduate Diploma Ceremony at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center
Sunday, May 21
9 a.m.: Undergraduate Studies Diploma Ceremony (College of Arts and Sciences) at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center
11 a.m.: School of Medicine Diploma Ceremony at Severance Music Center
1 p.m.: Undergraduate Studies Diploma Ceremony(Case School of Engineering, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and Weatherhead School of Management) at Veale Convocation, Recreation and Athletic Center