CSUN Commencement Stays on Oviatt Lawn and to Include the Weekend

The 2014 commencement ceremonies for the MIke Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication on the lawn in front of the Oviatt Library. Photo by Lee Choo.

California State University, Northridge officials have announced that the university’s 2015 commencement will remain on the lawn in front of the Delmar T. Oviatt Library, and most of the ceremonies will take place on the weekend to accommodate the busy work schedules of the graduates’ families.

Last year, university officials revamped CSUN’s commencement week by holding seven graduation exercises over the course of four days and, following the example of hundreds of universities and colleges around the country, requiring guest tickets of those attending the ceremony. Graduating students are able to request up to seven guest tickets for family members and friends.

“For several years, there have been requests from students asking that commencement ceremonies take place on the weekend so that their parents and family members could attend without the sacrifice of work,” said William Watkins, CSUN’s vice president for student affairs. For the first time in the history of the university, we will be offering most of our ceremonies on the weekend. This should make it much easier for those guests who have to juggle work and travel.”

Honors Convocation will continue to kick off CSUN’s commencement celebrations, but will take place at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 15. The ceremony includes the tradition of bestowing an honors medallion on worthy students, who are then encouraged to wear the medallion at their college’s commencement ceremony.

For the first time, the university will conduct a separate ceremony for graduate students, including masters and doctoral degree recipients from all colleges except the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Graduate students from that college will commence with the undergraduates of social and behavioral sciences in order to maximize guest seating availability.

The addition of the graduate student ceremony makes it possible for all students participating in the 2015 commencement to receive up to seven guest tickets. Specific instruction about the ticketing process will be sent to each graduating student via university email.

Christopher Aston, assistant director of the Office of Student Involvement and Development, which coordinates CSUN’s commencement celebration, said university officials received input from more than 4,500 students as they considered whether to keep the ceremonies on the Oviatt Lawn or move them to the North Athletic Field, where more seating could be provided.

“The student input was invaluable,” Aston said. “Our student government leadership took on the responsibility of ensuring that the students’ voices were heard, and we’re very grateful. They held open forums and solicited feedback from all our students.”

The 2015 commencement schedule is as follows: