July 24, 2014
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Victims of our own success Miscellaneous

“It’s a great dilemma to have.”

An interesting expression, don’t you think? The overall sentiment is favorable, but the fact there’s a “dilemma” also means there’s some pain. RIT has its share of these dilemmas, due in large part to its growth. This growth, whether describing the physical campus or the university’s reputation, often leads to some strain on resources or access to those resources.

The latest example comes with Commencement 2007. Attracting President Bill Clinton to RIT to serve as keynote speaker is quite an honor. I dare say some of our neighboring colleges and universities are a bit jealous. As a recent editorial in the Democrat and Chronicle pointed out, RIT students and their families “should feel proud” of this accomplishment.

But it did present a problem. How would the university accommodate all those people interested in seeing the former president live and in person? It quickly became apparent that the Gordon Field House, RIT’s primary venue for Commencement activities, just isn’t big enough.

Today, the university formally announced that Academic Convocation, the ceremony at which President Clinton will speak, is being moved outdoors. All anyone has to do is look to the skies over Rochester to understand the risk. But after lengthy consideration, RIT’s leadership deemed it worth the risk so that graduates can share this celebration with as many loved ones as possible.

There’s been a lot of unnecessary confusion associated with access to the Academic Convocation and the individual college ceremonies, but I won’t rehash that here. However, I do wish to commend RIT President Albert Simone and the coordinators of commencement activities for putting the interests of our graduates above all else. There is no perfect solution, but this decision should limit the pain associated with this dilemma.

Now, let’s hope Mother Nature cuts us a break.

 
  1. Justin Thorp
    Mar 26

    Right because the weather was so nice to us for my graduation. ;-)

    I'm glad to hear they're not constraining the graduation attendance to what they can fit in the fieldhouse.

  2. Paul Stella
    Mar 26

    Yeah, Justin, I walked through the rain in 2003, but it certainly didn't dampen my spirits. This year promises to be particularly memorable, no matter the weather.

  3. Justin Thorp
    Mar 27

    Yeah I was thinking about making the trek up to Rochester for graduation.

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