Commencement will be on the Quad in 2020. Here’s what seniors think.

Here's what seniors think about 2020 SU graduation on the Quad

The 39-year-old Carrier Dome tradition will take a break next May, and seniors feel anywhere from utter indifference to absolute rage.
Published: September 19, 2019 | Updated: October 3rd, 2019 at 2:49 pm
2014 SU Commencement in the Carrier Dome
The 2014 Commencement graduated thousands of SU student inside the Carrier Dome where the event has been staged since 1981.

Syracuse University announced Thursday that the 2020 Commencement ceremony will take place on the Quad, rather than the Carrier Dome where graduates have walked across the stage since 1981.

Last spring’s news that the Dome would temporarily shut its revolving doors March 1, 2020, for a $118 million renovation, left rising seniors in a concerned state of limbo. Now, Thursday’s announcement brings months of speculation to a definitive end.

In an email, SU Provost Michelle Wheatly and Dolan Evanovich, senior vice president for enrollment and the student experience, presented the change in location for the May 10 Commencement as a new and special opportunity.

“For our students graduating in 2020 and their families, this means they will experience a different kind of Commencement, a milestone one-of-a-kind ceremony,” the announcement read.

We asked seniors set to graduate on around campus how they feel about this decision. Here’s what they had to say:

“I’m so mad.”

— Aidan Sumner
economics and information management & technology

“Graduation is the one big ceremony we get at this school. It’s the celebration of years of work and tens of thousands of dollars spent and it’s one of the most important events in a person’s life. Given its extreme importance, it’s incredibly frustrating that Syracuse administration has chosen to make our graduation a cheap farce of what it should be simply because it’s convenient for their construction schedule and for the sports programs. It flies completely in the face of everything they say about caring about the student experience. It feels more and more like all they care about is my money and once I’ve paid they completely stop caring.”

— Ben Nichols-Farquhar
computer science

“You won’t see me there.”

— Nikki Scala
sport management

2015 SU Commencement in the Carrier Dome
The 2015 Commencement ceremony inside the Carrier Dome.

“Given how unpredictable the weather is, it has the potential to ruin the experience for the students and their families.”

— Andy Torres-Lopez
music industry

“I’m honestly scared we’re not all going to fit.”

— Elise Bojanowski
social work

“I think that it compromises the amount of loved ones I can have on one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.”

— Molly Murphy
social work

“I really don’t care. I think it will be nice to be outside.”

— Lydia Herne
magazine journalism

The Quad at Syracuse University - September 2019
A view earlier this month of the Quad where this school year's Commencement will take place on May 10, 2020.

“No one will be able to see. I feel like it’ll suck.”

— Pat Lampert
advertising

“I’m actually into it. I think it’ll be cool.”

— Rachel Simon
psychology and information management & technology

According to a SU Commencement website, there will be no ticketing, unlimited seating, and live streams in multiple auditoriums for guests to observe graduation indoors. It claims that the Quad is big enough to accommodate everyone and that it was staged with seating and platform arrangements during the decision-making process.

Wheatly and Dolan Evanovich ended their email with some consolation.

“We are also working on creating an opportunity for the graduates to bid an appropriate farewell to the Dome — before it closes its doors for the last time this year.”

Avatar for Claire Miller

is a lead news producer for The NewsHouse at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.