BY KELSEY DAVIS // FEBRUARY 25, 2019 //

At the end of last year, Dean of Students Maryellen Kiley and the Class of 2019 started to assess whether Curry has outgrown the space that we have on campus. Curry students took a vote and this year, for the first time ever, Curry College is moving the commencement ceremony from Blue Hill Ave to The Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA.

With this news came questions and mixed feelings, not only from the senior class but from future classes, as they are concerned about their graduation experience.  

Holding the ceremonies at Curry College is important to many students, including senior Alex Landry. “I feel that this campus is a part of our identity as Curry students,” said Landry. “That’s why I voted to keep commencement here at Curry.”  

While many people feel similar to Landry, including Dean Kiley, she feels the move will only be beneficial to students and their families. “Commencement on campus has been wonderful in many ways, but one of the bigger challenges has been seating,” Kiley explained. “We could only allow 4 tickets per graduating student.”

The lack of seating has been a recurring complaint from students and their families in past years. The move to The Xfinity Center will allow students to have up to 8 tickets and, if needed, an additional 12 lawn seats will be made available to each student.

Kiley also mentioned a number of other concerns that will be addressed by the move, the most pressing being the safety of students and their families. “Last year there was some concern about safety. There’s, you know, thousands of people coming down…there’s one entrance and one exit.”

In the event of an emergency, with cars often lining the streets throughout campus during an event of this size, Curry is not as accessible as it should be to emergency response vehicles.

Surprisingly, according to Kiley it will also be cost efficient, although she was not able to disclose any of the costs or the amount of the actual savings. Renting the tent and other equipment for an on-campus ceremony is incredibly expensive. So supposedly, holding the event in Mansfield will actually be of equal or lesser cost to the school for more space.

Not only that, but one of the biggest issues in the eyes of a Curry College student was also addressed by Kiley. “And the parking…”

Case closed, see you in Mansfield.

With these changes, Kiley and the senior class officers are working to make commencement weekend as memorable as possible. Not only will The Xfinity Center be decked out in purple, but a special reception will be held on campus the day before for graduating seniors and their families. Students will get the chance to invite a staff or faculty member of their choice to meet their families and walk down memory lane together as they prepare to become Curry College Alumni.

The junior class has expressed concern about what their commencement will look like as we have moved through this process. Junior Connor Carignan told The Currier Times, “I think it’s only fair that we have a vote for our graduation plans, just like the seniors did this year.” In response to this, Kiley said, “I think we will see how this year goes, then we will have to determine if everything goes well and we are satisfied with the facility.”

Underclassmen, particularly members of the Class of 2020, are encouraged to attend Commencement to see what it’s like and help make an informed decision in the future.

Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 19th starting at 9:30 a.m.

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