Venue for Commencement Moves to Prudential Center

Photo Courtesy of Jim Henderson

A location for the 2015 commencement ceremony has finally been nailed down after the abrupt closing of the former venue, the Izod Center. The ceremony will now be held at the Prudential Center in Newark. The date remains Friday, May 15, and the event will begin at 7 p.m.

The outdated Izod Center has been slowly losing appeal and usefulness for some time. Forbes reports that the 34-year-old arena had been losing millions of dollars after both the Nets and Devils found homes elsewhere. Now the center is set to officially close its doors in March, yielding to the competition of the $385 million Prudential Center, which opened in 2007. According to, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Prudential Center have reached an agreement, giving the Prudential Center hosting rights to the events that were to be held at the Izod Center. Accordingly, the Ramapo commencement has jumped venues.

The doors will open to guests and graduates at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the commencement. Seating is first come, first serve, but there is no limit to the amount of guests a graduate can bring.

The arching ceremony, where seniors make their way down the Ramapo archway signifying an end to their time at the College, will take place the day before the commencement, on Thursday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. The arching is the counterpart to the ceremony that takes place at the beginning of each semester, where first year students walk up the archway to commemorate the beginning of their education at Ramapo.

The commencement keynote speaker has yet to be announced. Ramapo’s commencement homepage lists the criteria for the speaker as to “have public recognition/appeal to the student body, be an effective public speaker, be associated with a platform/message that aligns with the College’s mission/values and represent diversity (race, gender, discipline, etc.) within the continuum of RCNJ commencement speakers.”

With the settlement of the Prudential Center as the venue, much uncertainty facing the senior class about the commencement location has ended. Many seniors seem pleased with the nicer venue.

“I’m definitely happy about the fact that we no longer have to graduate Izod Center,” said senior Breanna Silva. “The Prudential Center is a much nicer venue in comparison. Even though the time has changed, the fact that the date has not changed for commencement is a plus that I know many of my friends, including myself, are grateful for.”

Senior Ryan McGilloway never had any doubts that the venue would be worked out.

“The fact that they lost the location never really made me nervous to be honest,” said senior Ryan McGilloway. “I didn't think that the school wouldn't find a place for us to graduate that suited the needs of the class. I think the Prudential Center is going to be a great venue.”