By Moa Golster
Assistant News Editor
The previous structure of one main ceremony followed by individual ceremonies for each school will be abolished when LIU Post celebrates its 59th annual commencement on Friday, May 8. Instead, two separate ceremonies – one for undergraduates, and one for graduates – will be held under a tent on the Great Lawn.
The Dean of Students, Dr. Abagail Van Vlerah, explained that previous commencement ceremonies have taken five hours, and the university anticipates that this year’s ceremonies will last for less than two hours each.
“This will allow both our undergraduate and graduate degree candidates a more personal and meaningful experience for them and their families and friends, within a much more condensed timeframe,” Van Vlerah said.
Senior Public Relations major Allyson Zaffos thinks the new concept sounds festive, but is not convinced it is going to be less time-consuming than previous commencements. “I am happy I get to graduate alongside friends from different [schools],” Zaffos said. “But it seems unlikely that the [undergraduate] ceremony will last for less than two hours.”
Approximately 1,200 seniors from the campuses of LIU Post, LIU Brentwood and LIU Riverhead will graduate this year, according to Rita Langdon, executive director of Operations.
The undergraduate student ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., and the graduate student ceremony at 2:30 p.m. During both ceremonies, each graduating student will be recognized by name, and have a photo taken as he/she crosses the stage – an act that previously took place during each individual school ceremony. The undergraduates’ ceremony will also include recognition of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian, and awards for Distinguished Alumni and Honorary Degree Recipients, while the graduates’ ceremony will include recognition of Distinguished Alumni, Honorary Degree Recipients, and the Teacher of the Year award.
A “Best of the Class of 2015” awards ceremony will be held on Friday, May 1, at 4 p.m. in the Hillwood Commons Lecture Hall. During this event, approximately 40 students receiving top academic honors – including the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Academic Excellence Awards, Honors Program Awards, and Dean of Students Awards – will be recognized.
The application deadline to file for graduation is Friday, Feb. 6. Students can fill an application out online at my.liu.edu. Eligible students who fail to apply for graduation by the deadline, or who apply late, run the risk of not having their names included in the commencement program, according the LIU Post website.
Details of the reformatted commencement can be found on the LIU website, at www.liu.edu/post/commencement.