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Commencement ceremony schedule to change in 2010

Monday, October 5, 2009

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan, Office:817-272-5364, Cell:817-706-9811,

ARLINGTON - The University of Texas at Arlington will discontinue August commencement ceremonies starting in 2010.

This decision will have no impact on a student's ability to complete all academic coursework in August and earn a degree, and students who complete their degree requirements in August will be invited to participate in December commencement ceremonies.

Completing the work required to earn an academic degree is a separate event than the public commencement ceremony that symbolically commemorates that academic achievement. In fact, UT Arlington students who participate in commencement ceremonies are only as "candidates" for graduation.  Their graduation is not official until grades are posted, outstanding fees are paid and transcripts are completed. Only then do graduates receive their official diploma, which is sent to them several weeks after the end of their final semester.

The decision to eliminate August commencement ceremonies was based on several factors. Overall, participation in August ceremonies is low. Of the total number of students completing their degree requirements in August, many choose not to participate in their commencement. Of those that do, many register to attend but then "no show" to their ceremony as do their ticketed guests. Under those circumstances, it is impossible to deliver the same level of quality for the commencement ceremonies scheduled in August as it is for those held in May and December.

By eliminating August commencement ceremonies, the May and December commencement experience can be further enhanced for students, their families and guests. The resources used to implement August commencement - including staff, facilities, record-keeping and programming - are the same resources engaged in gearing up for the start of the academic year. With enrollment on the rise at UT Arlington, a fixed number of resources, and without an August ceremony, those university resources can be fully engaged in welcoming a new class of students to campus.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.