February 4, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 20°F


Letter to the editor: Walking would not take 4 hours

To the Editor:

First, reading names at Commencement would not, “…likely more than double the length of the college’s ceremony,” as your Editorial states.

Using simple math and the timer on a smartphone, if you read 1500 names at a measured pace of 25 a minute, this would add an hour to the approximately two hour ceremony, which is long, but not “too long” for 4 or more years, and the very large amount of money, that students and their families invest in their education.

Tightening up the ceremony elsewhere, could accomplish this goal of individually recognizing accomplishments, while marginally adding to the overall length of the ceremony. Done correctly, the ceremony could be completed in under 2 1/2 hours, which is certainly not “too long” given the many thousands of hours invested in an education. The 4 hour length of the Johns Hopkins ceremony is a false comparison for this goal, as there are obviously other activities that add time, and we would advocate trimming elsewhere, if names are read at the main ceremony.

That said, our petition offered two options for Ithaca Graduates to be recognized, at the main ceremony and by school, and contrary to the headline of the Editorial, The Ithacan appears to endorse the latter, which accomplishes this goal.

The Editor writes:

“Having separate, smaller ceremonies by school, where students are surrounded by the faculty and staff that have supported them for their years at the college, seems to be a more sensible solution. This, combined with a brief all-college ceremony, could be the solution that makes commencement as personal and rewarding as possible.”

Since this is an acceptable solution for recognizing graduates accomplishments, that we included as an option in our petition, and that The Ithacan appears to endorse in the latter part of its Editorial, we would appreciate if The Ithacan would clarify its headline to reflect the Editor’s support of school ceremonies and publish our rebuttal.


Ithacans for Commencement Reform