Important Announcement Regarding Changes to Commencement

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING CHANGES TO COMMENCEMENT

Dear Graduating Class of 2011:

We have made two major changes to Commencement for this year based on feedback from students regarding the ceremonies at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center:

  • The simulcast viewing will be in an air-conditioned tent in Damrosch Park directly adjacent to Lincoln Center rather than the Schimmel Theater at 1 Pace Plaza.
  • Registration for Commencement and Regalia has been extended to midnight, Wednesday, March 16. This is very important. Graduates who have signed up by the March 16thdeadline date will be eligible to receive two tickets for family to view the ceremony in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center and receive priority in a lottery for two additional tickets. Please go to http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/pace/capgown.cfm to sign up.

About the viewing at Damrosch Park:

Graduation ceremonies will be simulcast in real-time on a large screen in an air-conditioned tent at Damrosch Park which is part of the Lincoln Center complex. Damrosch Park is mere steps away from Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Those viewing the ceremonies at Damrosch Park will get an excellent close-up view of each graduate as they cross the stage to receive their diploma. Families can reunite for photos at the beautiful and iconic fountain that lies between the park and Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. All graduates will receive two tickets to the Damrosch Park viewing. We understand that this is not the same as being in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, but this will be a comfortable and enjoyable alternative.

About ticket distribution:

Graduates who sign up for commencement and to rent their cap and gown by the March 16 deadline are guaranteed:

  • Two tickets for the ceremonies at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
  • Two tickets for viewing at Damrosch Park if requested
  • An opportunity to receive up to two more tickets for Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in a lottery of remaining tickets
  • An opportunity to receive additional tickets for Damrosch Park in a lottery of remaining tickets

Graduates who sign up for commencement and to rent their cap and gown after the March 16 deadline are guaranteed:

  • Two tickets for the viewing at Damrosch Park. Late registrants are not guaranteed tickets to Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center.
  • An opportunity to receive additional tickets for Damrosch Park in a lottery of remaining tickets
  • The opportunity to get up to two tickets to the ceremonies at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center,  in a lottery if there are tickets remaining after all requests have been filled for additional tickets by graduates who registered before the deadline.

About the decision to hold commencement at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center:

Commencement ceremonies will be held at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center instead of Radio City Music Hall as in years past.  Radio City is unavailable (booked for an extended period of time by Cirque du Soleil) for this year’s ceremonies.

Beginning in January 2010 we launched a comprehensive search of all possible indoor and outdoor venues. A site evaluation was commissioned to help us identify possible venues. There were several factors considered in this search:

  • Quality: While there are several venues that might fit the other criteria, we felt it was important that we find a space that would offer a memorable and distinct graduation experience. We hoped to find a venue that would match the iconic New York experience that Radio City offered.
  • Availability: Even though we were looking well in advance for this year’s commencement venue, many sites were already booked. Madison Square Garden, for example, was a logical choice but it was not available this year due to renovations.  In addition, we were competing for an alternative venue with schools who normally hold commencement in Radio City Music Hall or Madison Square Garden.
  • Size: There are a limited number of venues that have the capacity to host our commencement exercises.
     

Ultimately, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center,  was chosen by the President and the former Provost. It is one of the world’s most beautiful concert halls. We strongly believe that the very special nature of the venue will complement the very special nature of the event.

We understand the disappointment of those students and their families who would like to be able to invite more than two people.  We have done all we can to make it possible for your family members to be part of your special day.

I want to congratulate all of you on your pending graduation and assure you that we are doing all we can to make this a special and memorable occasion for you and your families.

Sincerely yours,

Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs