Declining interest cancels Monumental Celebration

After years of declining participation, the University will not host a celebratory ball during Commencement Weekend this May.

Attendance at Monumental Celebration – an annual gala for GW graduates and their families held at Union Station on the eve of Commencement – has dropped over the last decade despite several attempts to attract guests through lower ticket prices.

Ten years ago, 3,600 tickets were sold for the event, but University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said 1,000 guests attended the celebration last year, only 200 of whom were graduates.

With tickets unsold, prices were lowered by $10 for seniors and guests from 2005 to 2010. But even with early bird prices, these incentives could not save the event.

Sherrard said graduates will still have the opportunity to celebrate during Commencement with the Class of 2011 Toast, the Zero Year Reunion and receptions and gatherings for individual schools within the University.

Monumental Celebration was first held in 1992.

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