The new academic year is just getting started, but it’s already time to start thinking about Commencement 2023.
First, I am pleased to announce that we will once again hold Commencement at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. We will celebrate our graduates early in the week of May 15, 2023, with the specific date to be announced shortly. And this year we will again host one main ceremony for all graduates, with the keynote Commencement speaker, and then individual school and college ceremonies through the day.
While we received generally good feedback on last year’s ceremony, we also heard that there are many opportunities for improvement. We’ll again host a festival on Tennis Center grounds, but this year we’ll have more food vendors and opportunities for celebration. We’ll once again schedule ceremonies throughout the day, but we’ll leave more time to move between locations and have clearer directions for where and when to get places. We’ll bring back the faculty processional, include more student voices, ensure that our faculty and staff are properly recognized, and generally work to have more “pomp” in our pomp and circumstance. Perhaps most important, this year we’ll be able to offer every graduate eight tickets for family and friends (with more available to those with greater needs). Up-to-date information will be available at www.pace.edu/commencement.
It is also time to open the nomination process for this year’s Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients. I invite everyone in the Pace Community to nominate potential speakers and honorees via this form by Friday, October 21. Nominations will be reviewed by the Commencement Speaker Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Sue Maxam, EdD, assistant provost for special projects and retention initiatives, and Jesse Oxfeld, senior communications advisor in my office, which includes student, staff, and faculty representatives.
As you think about potential nominees, please keep in mind that Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients are people who serve as role models. They are civic, cultural, or business leaders; notable writers, artists, or thinkers; or alumni or community members who reflect the Pace mission of Opportunitas. Specifically, we endeavor to find speakers and honorees whose accomplishments and life story will resonate with the Pace Community, and whose stature and renown will serve as a tribute to the graduating students. The most successful nominees are people who have some connection to Pace or a member of the Pace Community and are likely to be available in New York City on Commencement Day.
Thank you for your nominations, and I look forward to celebrating with you in May.