Commencement ceremony moves to Davies Symphony Hall

By Bethaney Lee


Graduating students this year will be tossing their caps off the same stage where the San Francisco Symphony performs.  On March 22, the board of trustees voted to follow the College Commencement Committee’s (CCC) recommendation to move the commencement ceremony from the George M. Rush Stadium at Ocean Campus to Davies Symphony Hall.

The committee, along with support from the Associated Students, submitted several recommended changes to Chancellor Mark Rocha to increase student participation while working within the $38,000 budget allotted to the May 24, 2018 commencement.

The location was changed for accessibility, with a BART station nearby and adequate parking, but also for comfort as the CCSF Commencement Recommendation reads that restaurants are nearby to accommodate graduates and their families after the ceremony. The time was switched from an early 1 p.m. to a more obliging 4 p.m., and the date itself was moved to the day after final exams instead of the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

“I think it will be a glorious event and a glorious place,” Rocha said at the March 22 board of trustees meeting before getting unanimous approval.

The CCC’s recommendation says the switch will decrease the overall cost of the event with the intention of obtaining more student and employee participation. Dean of Students, Andrew King, with the Office of Student Affairs said the number of students participating is rising with approximately 500 students committed to walking this year.  In 2017, the commencement ceremony had 465 students.

The location and date are not the only changes.  Dean King said while students of past ceremonies were able to accommodate seven extra guests, students participating in the 2018 commencement will be permitted three to four guests.

Some things about the ceremony will stick with tradition, like the caps and gowns. Black is the color chosen each time with reserve to other colored cloaks for students in special programs, such as City College’s nursing students. The ensemble is the only cost to students attending the ceremony, with gown loans available by request at the Office of Student Affairs.

“I think we all love this,” said Brigitte Davila, president of the board of trustees, while passing the motion during the March 22 meeting.


Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Photo by Craig Mole/Courtesy of Davies Symphony Hall.
Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Photo by Craig Mole/Courtesy of Davies Symphony Hall.
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