BYU To Consolidate Graduation Ceremonies Into One Annual Commencement

The change will ostensibly improve the quality of graduation ceremonies, but also threatens to overcrowd facilities and hotels.
BYU students at the August 2013 commencement | Photo: AP/Chris Bunker

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]lright, Cougars. You may have thought you could just go about your business, graduating when you wish, and the university would accommodate you. Such has been the case, but such will be the case no more, as BYU is moving to consolidate the multiple commencement ceremonies that have historically occurred during the year into one, big ceremony in April.

That’s according to the Daily Universe, BYU’s student newspaper, which explained that “Students graduating in December 2018, April 2019, June 2018 and August 2019 are invited to participate in the April 2019 commencement ceremonies.” To be clear, while students have been able to graduate four times a year, commencements have only been held twice, in April and August.

Reasons for the change are scant, but the Universe says “increased quality” is the driving motivation for the change. As a BYU alum, allow me to translate: The April commencement often draws the most students and more prestigious commencement speakers, relegating the August commencement to red-headed stepchild status. Now they can all operate under one happy banner, even if some of the celebrating students have to remain on campus, hanging out at the Creamery, eager to move on as their fellow graduates already have, yet somehow still enjoying the lonely crooner who shamelessly plays the piano in the main seating area of the Wilk as Aloha Plate enthusiasts shovel down their food, looking on in awe.

Commencement exercises will also move from Thursday afternoon to Thursday morning to give the convocation more time. BYU spokeshuman Natalie Ipson, in an interview with the Daily Herald, said that the university does not expect an overwhelming increase in the number of attendees, but that the university might need to employ a ticket quota system to accommodate demand.

The Daily Herald also noted that that approximately 74 percent of BYU’s annual degrees are awarded during the April commencement, thus allowing the majority to trounce the minority.

Take note, Cougs, you will walk in April. Agency has been removed from your agenda.

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