The Margaret Bundy Scott Field House has served as the site for the annual celebration since 1989. It will again be made ready in the event of inclement weather, but the primary site for this ceremony will be Steuben Field.
"This ceremony is an academic celebration for students, and students have been persuasive in expressing their overwhelming preference for the outdoor site," said Tobin. "We believe we can maintain the dignity of the ceremony and provide the necessary accommodations for our guests who need special assistance, just as we have done in the past."
Tobin said the change will require that two sites be set up. In making the announcement, he recognized the extraordinary effort required to stage such an event and praised those who have made past commencements so memorable.
"We are fortunate to have people with the talent and dedication to be able to prepare such a wonderful send-off for our graduates," Tobin said. "The coordination for a celebration of this magnitude is extraordinary. While I recognize the extra effort required for an outdoor ceremony, I know our students will be deeply grateful to those who are responsible for staging the event."
The Baccalaureate service on Saturday, May 24, will also be held outside, on the Main Quadrangle near the Burke Library. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be moved indoors to the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House.
Nearly 5,000 people attend commencement and 1,000 attend baccalaureate each year at Hamilton. Tobin said the changes being made for next spring are intended for all subsequent commencement and baccalaureate ceremonies in the foreseeable future.