The University’s Commencement Committee recommended the 1998 Commencement remain on the Ellipse during its meeting Friday, but did not recommend a venue for future ceremonies.
“We have a sense from the constituency that the Ellipse is a preferred venue because we don’t know more about the MCI Center,” said John Jenkins, associate dean of the GW Law School and committee chair. “The known is better than the unknown.”
Estimated prices for holding the event in the MCI Center were unavailable, according to Michael Peller, executive director of Student and Academic Support Services Administrative Services. Jenkins said it was impossible to make a recommendation for future years until estimates are available.
The committee also said it will include in its report other recommendations to GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. The recommendations include:
Cutting the University’s financial support of Monumental Celebration this year, and exploring alternatives to the traditional Union Station party.
Requiring students to purchase their own regalia through the GW Bookstore at a cost of about $16 for undergraduates.
Keeping the backup plan created after the cancellation of the stormed-out 1995 Commencement ceremony.
Changing the Commencement fee to a graduation fee that would be charged to students regardless of their plans to attend. The committee discussed recommending a potential increase in the fee in future years.
“I think there is definitely money in the University’s overall budget that we can put toward those items in future years,” Student Association President Kuyomars “Q” Golparvar said.
Trachtenberg is expected to make final decisions about Commencement weekend events within the next few weeks.
See further coverage of the Commencement committee’s recommendations in Tuesday’s issue.