Emergency Commencement Plan

Hiram College's Commencement Ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine, at Charles A. Henry Field. The commencement exercises are not ticketed so attendance is not restricted due to any capacity limitations. All family members and friends are welcome. In addition, a live video simulcast is shown in Price Gym which is right next to Henry Field. It is available to individuals who are uncomfortable outside and would prefer to move indoors.

Since commencement is held outdoors it could be delayed, shortened, or cancelled for a variety of reasons, including severe weather or other unexpected events. If Hiram College officials believe that anyone will be in any danger, the ceremony will be postponed or cancelled.

If the ceremony is cancelled, students will still graduate and the degree date will still be posted as the last day of the academic session.

Severe Weather

If severe weather is forecast for Commencement Day, a decision will be made as early as possible on what appropriate actions are necessary and communicated as follows:

  • Online (Commencement and Hiram homepage)
  • Information Line: 330-569-5959
  • To students, faculty and staff through text messaging, voice messages and email

If the weather forecast is for rain or drizzle without risk of extreme weather such as dangerous lightning or tornado- or hurricane-like conditions, Commencement will still be held outside. However, if severe conditions are in the forecast, the potential actions are described below:

Delayed Ceremony: Ceremony is still held outside, start of ceremony is delayed.

If the weather forecast is indicating a severe weather risk that could jeopardize personnel safety during the ceremony but a delay would allow the weather to clear, a decision would be made to change the start of commencement up to 3 hours later.

In this case, portions of the planned program might also be eliminated but it is likely that student names would still be individually read and they would walk across the stage to receive their diplomas folders.

Shortened Ceremony: Ceremony is still held outside, but it will be shortened.

If the weather forecast is indicating a severe weather risk that could jeopardize personnel safety at the end of the ceremony or during the time when guests are exiting campus, a decision would be made to shorten the ceremony in the interest of safety.

In this case, portions of the planned program will be eliminated and it is likely that student names will not be individually read nor will they walk across stage to receive their diplomas folders. Instead, students will stand as a group—master's degree candidates first, followed by Bachelor of Arts degree candidates, and then Bachelor of Science degree candidates—and degrees will be conferred after each group stands.

Postponed or Cancelled Ceremony: Ceremony is postponed or cancelled due to conditions that are unavoidable.

If Hiram College officials believe that anyone will be in any danger and a shortened or delayed ceremony will not insure safety, the ceremony will be postponed or cancelled.

If the ceremony is postponed or cancelled, students will still graduate and the degree date will still be posted as the last day of the academic session. Under this circumstance, the College will determine if it is possible to reschedule commencement on another date.

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