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December 6, 2004

December Graduation Relocated to Gampel

UConn’s mid-year Commencement, scheduled for Dec. 19, has been relocated to the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion from the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts to accommodate an increase in the number of graduating students.

In only its second year, the
number of eligible graduates had exceeded 800 by Dec. 1, an increase of almost 20 percent compared with last year. Based on past May commencement turnouts, more than 600 students and about 4,000 guests are anticipated for the ceremony, says Keith Barker, chair of the Commencement Committee.

The Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts can accommodate a maximum of about 2,600 guests, including graduating students.

“Based on the University’s recent enrollment gains, we knew there would be a point when we outgrew Jorgensen,” Barker says. “We just didn’t anticipate that it would occur so quickly.”

The graduates and their guests will be addressed by Aryeh Neier, president of the Open Society Institute, a private grant making foundation that is the hub of the Soros foundations network, a group of autonomous foundations and organizations in more than 50 countries. The Open Society Institute and the network implement initiatives that aim to promote open societies by shaping government policy and supporting education, media, public health, and human and women’s rights.

Before he joined the Open Society Institute, Neier spent 12 years as director of Human Rights Watch and, before that, was national director of the American Civil Liberties Union for eight years.

Neier also will receive an honorary degree.

The change in venue has spurred a call for additional faculty to be involved, Barker says. Anyone interested in joining the procession or helping with the ceremony should call the Commencement Office at 860.486.6800.