Graduation Wasn’t Always at PNC...

Graduation is a bittersweet time of year. The college journey comes to an end but the future lies ahead for thousands of graduating students after every semester. For University students, commencement means gathering at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel for the celebratory ceremony, yet, it wasn't always that way.

Prior to the move to PNC about 10 years ago, graduation was held on the Great Lawn where the soccer field is now. Faculty lined the walkways near classroom buildings as students said their final goodbyes. According to faculty members who attended the on-campus ceremony, it was a personal and sentimental experience. It also allowed guests to enjoy the scenic landscape the University has to offer. However, after inclement weather left people drenched, the University decided to move the ceremony to PNC, where it has remained to this day.

The Outlook editorial staff discussed what it would be like to bring graduation back to campus. Most agreed that the ceremony would be more practical and functional if it remained at PNC.

Editors recognized that there are many problems with having the ceremony on campus grounds. Amount of tickets, weather and comfort were factors that led most toward PNC. Overall, when all elements were put into consideration, the staff decided PNC would be the better option.

One editor said, "PNC just makes more sense, unfortunately. I wish we could have [graduation] on campus, but I know people who are still trying to get more tickets to graduation at PNC. I'd rather not have to tell my grandmother that she can't come because it's raining."

For this semester's upcoming graduation in May, students will receive five tickets to distribute to family and loved ones. If other guests would like to attend, they can watch the ceremony for free from the lawn at PNC.

An editor said, "I think that PNC is very nice and can accommodate a lot of people which is a plus. The graduation being held at the University would be too small, risky because of weather and the parking would be terrible. PNC is a very nice place and it isn't too far away, which is a plus."

The weather and ticket factors proved to be most important to the editors, more so than the sentimentality of the ceremony. An editor said that they would rather have graduation at PNC to avoid the chance of rain ruining the entire ceremony.

Still, the staff did recognize the positives of bringing graduation back to campus. One editor said, "Campus has been our home for the last four years and it would be much more personal and sentimental if we could have that final ceremony on campus with our friends and faculty that have become our family over the course of our education."

Despite the many factors that made editors apprehensive to the idea, they noted that commencement would be more personal on campus. They thought that the overall experience would be enjoyable and allow students to experience the grounds for a final time. An editor said, "This was where our college career has been; the campus has meaning to me because I've spent so much time and experienced so much on it. Therefore, having it on campus would be more meaningful."

Editors realized that campus would serve as a great graduation location based on aesthetics and sentimentality alone. However, as far as size, uncertainty of weather, overall practicality and experience, they agreed that PNC ranked better as the location for commencement.


Last week, in a story headlined “Student Loan Debt in New Jersey Increases Over the Past Five Years” The Outlook reported that students who graduated in 2013 would have $30,798 in student loan debt and 75 percent of students would have debt. The correct information is $34,810 for the 2012 school year, with 72 percent of students graduating with debt. In another story headlined “A Match Made in Heaven,” The Outlook captioned a photo recognizing Tau Delta Phi. Tau Delta Phi is not officially recognized by the University. If, for any reason, these two inaccuracies have caused misunderstandings or problems, The Outlook regrets that.