UH-Manoa will hold two undergrad, advanced degree commencement ceremonies


The University of Hawaii at Manoa announced Friday that it will break with tradition in Spring 2017 and hold two combined undergraduate and advanced degree commencement ceremonies.

The pilot program will replace the customary single undergraduate ceremony in the morning and advanced degree ceremony in the afternoon.

Under the proposed pilot model, more seating is expected to be available for family and friends at their graduate’s respective ceremony.

The two smaller ceremonies are also intended to lessen traffic congestion and increase parking availability.

The morning ceremony will consist of undergraduate and advanced degree students from:

  • College of Arts and Humanities
  • Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
  • School of Pacific and Asian Studies
  • College of Social Sciences
  • College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

The afternoon ceremony will consist of undergraduate and advanced degree students from:

  • School of Architecture
  • Shidler College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • William S. Richardson School of Law
  • John A. Burns School of Medicine
  • School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene
  • Public Health Studies
  • Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work
  • School of Travel Industry Management

The Spring undergraduate ceremony draws very large crowds, and late-arriving attendees are often redirected to overflow seating, where the ceremony can be viewed on a monitor when the Stan Sheriff Center reaches capacity.

At the 2016 Spring commencement exercises, nearly 1,800 undergraduates participated in the morning ceremony, and approximately 600 advanced degree graduates walked in the afternoon. If the new pilot format had been implemented, each ceremony would have included around 1,200 graduates, which is the expected number for each of the Spring 2017 ceremonies.

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