The 2019 Universitywide commencement of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) graduation festivities will come first, rather than last, in what UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, called “a simple reversal” aimed at attracting more graduates to the ceremony at Royal Farms Arena.
The two-day graduation celebration at UMB has begun with the individual convocations of the six professional schools and the hooding ceremony held by the interdisciplinary Graduate School. “Our students understandably have a great deal of attachment to their individual school convocations, and that needs to be left alone,” Perman said at his quarterly Q&A open to the UMB community on June 19. “I still remember my own medical school graduation.
“Having said that, and consistent with my theme of this being one University, we have to do better in terms of attendance at the Universitywide graduation. It’s a place where we come together. Since I arrived in 2010, I have been asking, ‘What can we do to attract more folks to the Universitywide ceremony?’ ”
For many years, the Universitywide commencement has been held on Friday afternoons, after all the individual convocations and a Party in the Park. “I understand people want to get out of town and they want to celebrate,” Perman said of the attendance on Friday afternoons. “But I want people at the University graduation, too.”
So on Thursday morning, May 16, 2019, the Universitywide commencement, where graduates officially receive their diplomas, will begin UMB’s two-day graduation celebration. “I just shared that with the deans before this Q&A,” Perman said, “and I’m happy to share this with you now.”
— Chris Zang