Changes planned for commencement 2017

Dr. Judy K. Sakaki’s first commencement as president of Sonoma State University will come with a change of venue for the graduation ceremonies themselves. 

The traditional two ceremonies in May have been split into six and moved inside the Green Music Center.

Rather than scheduling one ceremony in the morning and one in the afternoon, this year’s commencement will take place over two days, with May 20 and 21 each hosting one ceremony at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and one at 5 p.m. Instead of taking place on the traditional Commencement Lawn, the location for all six graduation ceremonies has been changed to the Green Music Center.

Last year, more than 2,000 students took part in the two graduation ceremonies, for which Sonoma State University hosted approximately 10,000 guests. Having more graduation ceremonies will reduce the number of students participating in each individual ceremony.

The changes to the traditional commencement schedule were announced via an email sent to Sonoma State students, faculty and staff by Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeri Echeverria. 

Students will graduate with their academic departments and schools, and each school will have its own graduation ceremony, with the exception of the School of Social Sciences, which will be split into two ceremonies on Sunday.

“This year, there will be six School Commencement ceremonies for both undergraduate and graduate students, and you will be graduating with other students in your academic Departments and Schools. 

All of the following ceremonies will be held at the Green Music Center, and additional details will be announced early in 2017,” Echeverria wrote.

On Saturday, May 20, the graduation ceremony for the School of Business and Economics will take place at 9 a.m., the graduation ceremony for the School of Science and Technology will take place at 1 p.m. and the graduation ceremony for the School of Arts and Humanities will take place at 5 p.m.

On Sunday, May 21, the graduation ceremonies for the School of Social Sciences will take place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The first ceremony will include the departments of Anthropology, Cultural Resources Management, Counseling, History, Human Development, Political Science, Public Administration, and Psychology. 

The second ceremony will include the departments of Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, Environmental Studies and Planning, Global Studies, Geography, Liberal Studies, Sociology, and Women’s and Gender Studies. The final graduation ceremony, which will take place at 5 p.m., is for the School of Education.

In addition to the graduation ceremonies, all cultural commencement celebrations, including the Latino Commencement Celebration, African-American Commencement Celebration, Asian-American Commencement Celebration, and the LGBTQ Commencement Celebration, will be held on Friday, May 19, 2017.

Students and families can choose to attend these events as well as their academic school’s commencement ceremony on Saturday or Sunday.