Main Content

Announcement About December Commencement

February 2, 2017

Dear Members of the Southern Community,

As you know, for the past three years, Southern has held December commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Lyman Center provides a wonderful venue for an array of events. However, for an undergraduate commencement ceremony, it is just not large enough. Lyman’s 1,500-seat capacity means it has become increasingly difficult to accommodate students’ guest requests. A limit of two guest tickets per student simply does not work when many have large, or extended families with whom they wish to share their special day.
Conversely, student participation at the evening graduate ceremony has been light, resulting in many empty seats.

Therefore, after consultation with my Senior Leadership team, the decision has been made to discontinue both December commencements and retain our May undergraduate ceremony at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. Graduate students will continue to have two ceremonies at the Lyman Center in May (at 2 p.m. for the Schools of Arts and Sciences; Business, and Health and Human Services, and at 7 p.m. for the School of Education).

This means that all students completing their degrees during the fall semester will be eligible to participate in commencement the following spring.

With its capacity of more than 8,000 seats, the Webster Bank Arena can comfortably accommodate all of our undergraduates plus a minimum of four guests per student. In this way, more friends and family will be able to attend an exciting, vibrant ceremony in the large, celebratory setting that our graduates deserve.


Joe Bertolino, Ed.D.
Southern Connecticut State University