Commencement to be opening event in new Schollmaier Arena

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Dec. 19 will mark the first commencement ceremony at TCU in the newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.

Initial plans to open by Nov. 13 for the opening home men’s and women’s basketball games were delayed, making commencement the first official event held in the new arena.

“We were met with some unforeseen circumstances, including weather conditions,” said TCU athletics director Chris Del Conte after the delay was announced.

But after apologizing for the postponement, Del Conte said, “When opened next month, the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena will enhance our student-athlete experience as well as [be] a tremendous source of pride for the TCU and Fort Worth communities.”

The $72 million renovation provided the 53-year-old arena with a modern entrance, widened concourses, upgraded concessions and additional bathrooms and seating.

But despite all of the renovations, it’s too soon to determine whether the new arena will have a major impact on the ceremony itself, according to Manager of Academic Progress Kristi Harrison.

When asked if the new arena would yield any changes Harrison said, “I can’t answer that until we have had a graduation in the new arena to see if there are differences. Right now it is scheduled to be held just as it has been in the past.”

Students were also unfazed by the opening of the new arena for the ceremony.

“Honestly, I didn’t even know if the new arena would be completely built by graduation,” said graduating senior Elle Carnley.

“But as long as everything goes smoothly the day of I don’t have any complaints.”

There are 782 degree candidates set to graduate this December.