Dean Parente’s open letter to CLA students

First, I want to assure every student in the College of Liberal Arts that you will continue to have the opportunity to walk in a commencement ceremony. WhatâÄôs new this year is that CLAâÄôs fall graduates are invited to join other CLA students in our spring commencement. In celebrating in spring, we join with other University of Minnesota students in festivities held across every University of Minnesota college and campus.

Commencement is a significant academic milestone, a joyous and celebratory event that recognizes your success in completing your degree. I understand the disappointment of those who had been anticipating a fall commencement.

CLA has long been the only University undergraduate college to host such a fall ceremony, but with the closure of Northrop Auditorium, that is no longer possible.

Our commencement committee researched alternative venues, diligently investigating not only capacity and cost, but also other considerations like handicap access, sight lines and acoustics âÄî factors that make for a safe and enjoyable experience for graduates and guests.

On the basis of that extensive effort, the commencement committee made what I believe was a sound recommendation, which I approved. This year, in addition to spring commencement, CLA fall graduates and guests are also invited to a December senior celebration.

We will be reaching out to you in the near future for help in planning the December event and the spring ceremony. Please watch for more information on how to participate, as well as for event updates.

We look forward to working with you to make both celebrations the memorable occasions we all want them to be.