No backup commencement site reserved in event of inclement weather


    There is no alternative site for this year’s outdoor Spring Commencement Cermony in case of inclement weather.

    The ceremony is being held outdoors due to construction starting on Amon G. Carter Stadium and Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is under construction.

    Margaret Kelly, the executive director of community projects, wrote in an email that the university had to make a quick decision on the graduation location once construction began at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

    According to an email from Holly Ellman, the assistant director of strategic communications, the stadium is the only available place in Fort Worth large enough to hold the number of graduates and guests.

    “We called the Fort Worth Convention Center to see if we could reserve the arena for the ceremonies,” she said. “Another local college had already reserved the space for their graduation that is taking place on the same date.”

    According to Tarrant County College (TCC)’s website, TCC will hold its commencement ceremony on May 10 at 10:30 a.m at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

    However, Kelly said Fort Worth Convention Center Arena is reserved for TCU’s December 2014 and May 2015 commencement ceremonies.

    After looking at places off campus to hold this year’s Spring Commencement, Kelly and Chancellor Victor Boschini both decided that they would prefer to have it on campus.

    “I like the idea of graduating in a place full of school spirit, but I am worried about the heat or inclement weather,” said Erin Oliphint, a senior early childhood education major.

    Brittany Henderson, a senior fashion merchandising major, said she was also concerned about potential hot weather at commencement.

    “The fact that we’re not in the DMC anymore isn’t important to me,” she said. “I’m just worried that it’s going to be really hot. I’m not looking forward to that.”

    Bottled water will be provided for all participants and spectators to help deal with the heat.

    According to Ellman, there is a plan set in place for this Spring Commencement in case of inclement weather.

    “We will monitor the weather forecasts and will make decisions on whether commencement can be held as planned based on their predictions,” Ellman said.

    Any threatening weather, such as lightning and severe weather alerts, will be handled in a similar manner as the TCU vs. Texas football game was in October, Ellman said. She said the primary concern is for the safety of graduates and guests.

    “We have contingency plans that may include halting the ceremony and evacuating the graduates and guests to secure areas within the stadium,” Ellman said.

    “If the weather clears in a reasonable amount of time, the commencement ceremony may continue,” Ellman said.

    Ellman said if weather persists and the commencement ceremony is not able to continue, diplomas will be mailed to the graduate’s permanent address.

    “The class of 2014 has worked hard for this moment and it would be a shame if we don’t get to celebrate together,” Oliphint said.

    Kelly said most aspects of commencement will stay the same, despite the venue change. The order of the events will continue as they have before and each student will get to shake Boschini’s hand as they cross the stage.

    Both Kelly and Chancellor Victor Boschini agree that moving commencement to Amon G. Carter Stadium is not the most important change that will be made.

    “The biggest difference is that we are holding one combined ceremony with all eight schools and colleges,” Kelly said.

    Boschini said he sees this as a positive aspect that he hopes continues for future graduations.

    “A lot of kids want to graduate with their friends but if I’m business and you’re communications, you might not be in my same ceremony,” he said. “People will like having graduation all together again.”

    The commencement ceremony will start at Amon G. Carter Stadium at 9:00 a.m. on May 10. For more information, visit the TCU commencement website.

    Any weather-related instructions that may affect the commencement ceremony will also be posted on the commencement website.