Class of 2020 will celebrate Commencement in the Dome after all

2020 Commencement set for fall in the Dome

The graduation ceremony will be one of the first events in the renovated stadium.
Published: April 8, 2020
syracuse 2015 commencement

Syracuse University’s Class of 2020 will have its graduation ceremony this fall in the newly renovated Carrier Dome, Chancellor Kent Syverud announced to students Wednesday in a university-wide email. 

“After hearing from thousands of our students, I am pleased to share with you that this fall we will hold our 2020 Commencement in our stadium, after the roof replacement project is complete and once health officials advise large gatherings are once again safe,” Syverud said in the email. “It will be one of the first events held in this space.”

The email did not include a confirmed date for Commencement, but Syverud did add that graduating students would have their degrees conferred by May 10. Also, he plans to share more details about the ceremony by June 1 including how individual college convocations will be celebrated. 

The 2020 Commencement already had been moved to the Quadrangle while the Carrier Dome completes a $118 million renovation to its inflatable roof and add a new scoreboard and enhanced lighting and sound system. The Carrier Dome has hosted graduation ceremonies every year since opening in 1980.

After the May commencement was canceled outright last month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, SU surveyed seniors and graduate students to choose what alternative they would prefer for graduation. 

“Graduation is a milestone moment, and we want to ensure that yours is both meaningful and memorable,” Syverud wrote in a March 23 email. “I promised you that you would have a graduation and that you would help shape that celebration.”

The survey gave students three options: having a virtual commencement ceremony on the original date of graduation in May, holding an in-person ceremony in the completed Dome in the fall or having both a virtual ceremony and an in-person celebration. Syverud said that students graduating this semester “overwhelmingly” chose the fall graduation option. 

SU isn’t the only school in upstate New York that has rescheduled the commencement. SUNY Plattsburgh announced it had delayed commencement until Dec. 12 while Cornell and SUNY schools, such as Oswego and New Paltz, made statements saying they would reschedule commencement for a later date.