Calendar changes mean longer winter break for students, faculty


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Anne Zukowski, Asst. Web Editor

Students and faculty will have an extra week to recover from the fall semester and to prepare for spring this year.

Winter break will stretch from Dec. 12 through Jan. 14 as a result of the changes made to the annual commencement schedule in May.

For years, students and faculty had advocated for commencement to be moved from Mother’s Day.  In response to those complaints, administrators took advantage of a new opening in the Mohegan Sun Arena’s May availability. Wilkes University, who had for years booked the venue the weekend after Mother’s Day, has moved their ceremonies back to campus, leaving the date up for grabs.

This year, commencement will take place on Saturday, May 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre. Hooding will take place, as usual, the day before, on Friday, May 15. Those ceremonies will remain on campus.

Pushing commencement back by a week meant that the entire semester needed to shift, which accounts for the longer winter break.

Years ago, commencement was held on Marywood’s campus until the student population increased and the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts building could no longer seat the growing crowds.

Ann Boland Chase, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success, stated the reason commencement was held on Mother’s Day in the past was because it was the only available Sunday at the Arena.

“We are pleased to provide this opportunity for graduating students. Any day other than Mother’s Day allows more family members to attend,” said Chase.

“My mom can have her own day,” said Marissa Marold, senior English major.

John Coval, director of the Office of Conference & Event Services said postcards were mailed in the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year with the graduation and commencement date changes.

His office will conduct an evaluation after graduation to determine if the changes are positive and should be carried into the future.

Contact the writer: [email protected]