Izod Center Closes, Ramapo in Search of Graduation Venue

Photo courtesy of Heath Brandon, Flickr Creative Commons

With the recent news of the Izod Center closing, Ramapo’s commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2015 will have to change venues.

The Governor’s office announced that the 31-year-old arena will close down and have its events sent to the Prudential Center, due to increased competition from said Prudential center, the new Barclay’s Arena and the refurbished Madison Square Garden, according to an NJ.com article.

"This is a long time coming. It never made sense to keep open an outdated arena that is less than 10 miles away from the City of Newark and the Prudential Center," North Ward councilman Anibal Ramos said in a statement, according to NJ.com.

This decision has sparked some controversy, as many do not wish to see the arena close and lose the “iconic” arena forever. For Ramapo, the biggest issue seems to be the displacement of the commencement ceremony for graduating class of 2015. Ramapo’s web page notes that all the details of the new location have not been worked out yet because of this sudden change.

“Due to the recent news about the imminent closing of the Izod Center, Ramapo College is working diligently on alternate plans for its 2015 Commencement Ceremony and related activities,” stated the commencement portion of Ramapo’s website. “Details regarding venue and/or date changes will be forthcoming.  We appreciate your patience during this time. Please check this webpage for updates.”

Ramapo seniors have expressed some trepidation about these arrangements.

“At first I was worried about the venue changing but honestly wherever it ends up, I’m just happy and proud to be graduating from Ramapo,” said senior Brianne Kennedy.

The idea of moving away from the tradition, with no clear solution for the future has daunted some seniors, including Mike Samlall.

“It was disappointing to see that the Izod Center shut down when it was so close to our graduation,” he explained. “Although we'll likely be moved to the Prudential Center, I would have liked to have been at the Izod Center. For many of us right now, it would just be great to learn any information about how commencement will be rescheduled. Knowing anything new by March would be very helpful.”

Wherever the College decides on holding the ceremony, a new chapter in the history of Ramapo College will be made. For the seniors who are graduating, the mark they have left on the school and the knowledge they will be leaving with, will surely keep the joy of the event intact.