In an e-mail to the student body yesterday, Father Jenkins announced that beginning in May 2010, future Notre Dame Commencement ceremonies will be held in Notre Dame Stadium rather than the Joyce Center. Not only does this change mean that ND students will make their final memory as undergrads in the historic stadium, but it also means that students will no longer be forced to choose which family members can attend the ceremony.
While I think the JACC has been a great place to see Irish basketball, I was excited when I heard about the changes coming with the Purcell Pavilion. The JACC provided an outstanding home court advantage for ND, but it will be exciting to see how the changes improve the great basketball environment. One of the things I questioned however, was the impact that this change would have on graduation. The new configuration will seat approximately 2,000 less spectators, essentially meaning that each graduate would be allowed two tickets instead of three. While two or three tickets allow parents and one other lucky guest to attend, it often means choosing between family members, which simply seems unfair. One of my first memories of college was flying to Chapel Hill when I was five, to see my cousin graduate from UNC. His graduation was held in the football stadium and I've often wondered why ND couldn't do the same (even if the weather is nicer in NC than Indiana - It's May! It can't be that bad).
Apparently the Commencement Committee read my mind. To the joy of many ND students, yesterday's announcement solved this ticket problem. Unless Taylor Swift comes back to campus with an entourage of thousands, students will be free to have as many guests attend the ceremony as they would like (The country/pop star was on campus with her family yesterday because her brother was visiting as a prospective student. From what I've heard though, Taylor's far too humble to sport such an extensive crew, so we shouldn't have to worry, even if he does end up attending ND).
I'm excited by this change of venue. Not only does it mean my parents and brothers will be able to attend, but it also provides the opportunity for some of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends to possibly make the trip to South Bend. With my classmates, I'll be able to enjoy one last time together in the stadium where we've witnessed so many thrilling football games.
I'm looking forward to it. For now though, I want time to slow down. Thinking about graduation is a scary thought. I want to enjoy these next two years first.