First facility-wide launch in decades will celebrate the entire class of 2022: NewsCenter

May 11, 2022

More than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students will be honored at a “one university” ceremony at Fauver Stadium.

With a stage spanning 300 feet, two large video screens and eight-foot flags representing the University of Rochester’s eight schools, Fauver Stadium will have a distinct and unusual look on Friday, May 13, for its biggest ever ceremony. launch for decades.

“One thing’s for sure,” says Sarabeth Rogoff 1993, the University’s board services and events manager, who chairs the admissions committee. “The Fauver stadium will not look like the Fauver stadium.”

The 5,000-seat athletic venue, home to multiple varsity varsity teams in the Brian F. Prince Athletic Complex, will be transformed into a massive celebration area for the graduating celebrations of more than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students .

The event marks a return to Rochester’s traditional debut drills that were held until the early 1990s. President Sarah Mangelsdorf has been interested in reviving the “one university” format since her arrival in 2019, but the plan has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The president thought it was important to bring the community together to celebrate our graduates, who have overcome real obstacles along the way,” says Rogoff.

Back to the future at Fauver

The beginning of the University has changed location over the last 100 years: Eastman Theater (1923–52), Fauver (1953–66), the Community War Memorial (1967–71), Eastman again (1972–86) , then back to Fauver (1987–95). It had stood on the Eastman Quadrangle since 1996, except in 2020, when the pandemic forced its cancellation.

Black and white image from the beginning of 1988 at the Fauver stadium.

CEREMONY SITES: The start of the University has changed location over the past 100 years. In 1988, the ceremony took place at the Fauver stadium. (Courtesy of University Archives)

Friday’s two-hour event kicks off a celebration that will extend into the weekend as academic schools and departments honor graduates at college-specific graduation events. school. The Eastman Wind Ensemble, led by Mark Scatterday, is set to perform, and the carillon will play music as guests arrive. The complex will be set up with 7,100 seats on the pitch, with additional bleachers to accommodate more people as needed.

“All of our staff have worked tirelessly, and we have received tremendous help from Facilities and Services, Horticulture and Grounds, Environment, Health and Safety, Food Services, athletics, parking and public safety,” said Christine Rovet, executive director of Event and Classroom Management. “This was the biggest group effort I’ve ever been part of.”

Former Rochester TV personality Norma Holland, Director of Public Relations and Engagement for URMC’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, will share the University’s story ahead of the ceremony , then announce each school when its members enter the field. The platform will include Mangelsdorf, the firm, the board of trustees, awardees, faculty members and speakers.

“We are here to create a moment and a memory,” says Rogoff. “And to celebrate our students, who have been through so much.”

Rogoff joined the secretary’s office last December from event and classroom management, and soon after was tasked with leading the planning for the start. “I’ve been doing events for 25 years, and the way I see any event is, what will the experience be for guests and attendees? Any decision made is because we want graduates to have a great experience. »

Artist's digital rendering of the launch stage, screens and seats.

CENTER STAGE: Rendering of the stage, screens and seats for this year’s ‘A University’ opening ceremony at the Fauver stadium. (Illustration by University of Rochester/Michael Osadciw)

Much pomp in remarkable circumstances

Rogoff’s 1993 graduation ceremony was held at Fauver, and she still remembers the excitement of entering the crowded stadium. “I loved seeing my parents in the stands, and all the pomp and circumstance,” she says. “It was special.”

Rogoff promises plenty of pomp for a promotion that has endured the most unexpected of circumstances. The University closed all campuses in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and students endured hybrid classes and masks for much of their time in Rochester.

“It’s been just hard being a student not only during the pandemic but also with everything that’s happened in the world in the last couple of years,” says Victoria Liverpool ’22, an international relations major from Montclair, New Jersey, and president of the senior class council. “I lost my father in 2020 and my aunt this year. It made me feel hopeless, and like nothing mattered. After everything we’ve been through, it’s important that we come together everyone and celebrate everyone’s success in the Class of 2022.”

Liverpool will be one of Friday’s speakers, representing the undergraduate class, and say their speech will focus on “resilience, personal impact and motivation to keep going”. Lorna Washington ’22W (EdD) will also speak on behalf of the University’s graduate students.

“It’s over in two hours,” Rogoff says, “but hopefully we’ll help create a special moment for our college community, and lots of memories.”

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