Campus & Community

New 2013 Commencement and Graduation Week Traditions Reflect Stevens’ Steady Growth

For the first time in university history, Stevens has outgrown its charming Hoboken, N.J. campus for the purposes of the end-of-year Commencement, an annual ceremony to commemorate the completion of the academic year and celebrate the achievements of students who earned degrees.

With Stevens’ graduating classes growing larger year by year, Stevens will host its 141st Commencement ceremonies off-site at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., a short commute from Castle Point. The university expects 7,000 students, family members and friends to attend the two ceremonies on Thursday, May 23, which will begin at 10 a.m. for graduate students and 3 p.m. for undergraduate students. While the IZOD Center can seat more than 20,000 visitors, a special seating configuration for a capacity of 4,600 guests will be sectioned off to make the arena right-sized for the Stevens commencement ceremonies.

“The steady increase in class size at Stevens requires a new approach to Commencement,” said Dean of Student Life Ken Nilsen. “After considerable thought and consultation with students, faculty, administrators and the Board of Trustees, we decided hosting Commencement at an off-site location was the best solution for the entire university community.”

“This move enables us to continue the longtime Stevens tradition of individually and personally celebrating the accomplishments of our talented student body alongside their loves ones, without being at the mercy of the weather forecast or dealing with space constraints and limited parking availability,” added Assistant Vice President for Student Development Joseph Stahley. “We are extremely eager to begin this new chapter in Stevens history.”

While the two Commencement ceremonies will follow similar formats to previous years – including the academic processions and remarks by distinguished invited speakers, the Class of 2013 valedictorian, and university officials – there will be a host of new and exciting campus-based graduation activities during the week leading up to Commencement, from Monday, May 20 to Wednesday, May 22.  

The culmination of the week – and for many students, the highlight of their entire Stevens experience – will be the Graduation 2013 Festival, a campus-wide celebration for all members of the Class of 2013 and their families on Wednesday May 22. The festival will take place in indoor and outdoor locations throughout the Stevens campus. Featuring music, food and entertainment, it will provide an opportunity for students and their families to meet and greet with faculty and staff who have seen them through their college journey. There will also be formal recognition of the first-in-class, a congratulatory speech from Stevens President Nariman Farvardin, a welcome to the Stevens Alumni Association, the presentation of the senior class gift, and much more.

Like previous years, Class of 2013 undergraduate students will also be invited to a Senior Ball on Monday, May 20 and a Senior Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 21. For the graduate school, the annual Provost’s Banquet is scheduled for Monday, May 20 and the Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony will be on Wednesday, May 22.

“I’m confident that our first Commencement ceremony at the IZOD Center will result in a joyous and fitting celebration for the Class of 2013, their families and guests, and the Stevens community,” said Stevens Provost George Korfiatis.

For more information on program and event schedules, Commencement speakers, transportation and parking at IZOD Center, and other Commencement logistics, please visit