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Friday Night Lights: Drexel Sets Plans for Commencement 2018

December 21, 2017

President John Fry at Commencement 2017 at Citizens Bank Park.

Though winter just began, it’s not too soon to look forward to warm summer nights and, for the Drexel University community, another exciting commencement under the lights at Citizens Bank Park.

Last year’s event, the second universitywide commencement held at the ballpark and the first at night, was an ideal culmination of two days of celebration around the city for Dragons of all stripes, said Subir Sahu, PhD, vice president and dean of Student Life. Commencement 2018 is a chance to build on that success.

“It was perfect from every angle,” Sahu said. “We’re looking to do even more on the ballpark site. We’re exploring all sorts of options there.”

Like last year, there will be two days of college- and school-specific ceremonies, held on June 14 and 15. Larger ceremonies will again take place at the Mann Center, and the University City Campus will play host to ceremonies for Drexel’s smaller colleges and schools. It will all wrap up June 15, on a Friday night under the lights at Citizens Bank Park. Drexel found a model that worked well last year and organizers are excited to build on it, Sahu said.

“We were able to incorporate more of the college ceremonies back on campus, which created more of a celebratory feel,” he said. “The ceremonies at the Mann Center were really great, with a lot of attendees, and the venue was perfect. And then the nighttime ceremony was a big hit with everyone. The fireworks display at the end was a great way to cap off the week.”

Ceremonies for the Thomas R. Kline School of Law and the College of Medicine will be held in May, as they have been in the past, and law and medicine students are invited to attend the June 15 ceremony at the ballpark, Drexel President John Fry said in a message to the University community.

“I am very much looking forward to being a part of this wonderful celebration, where we can bring together the entire Drexel community to honor the accomplishments of our graduates and celebrate them as our newest alumni,” Fry said.

Commencement is a reflection of the hard work of people all across Drexel’s campus, from students to staff and faculty, so having the entire University come together — after nearly two decades without a universitywide celebration — feels right, Sahu said. And after all the fun festivities last year, he can’t wait to gather again in South Philadelphia.

“When we did the final congratulations to the graduates and the fireworks started, it was a pretty special moment,” Sahu said.