Emergency Commencement Plan

Hiram College's Commencement Ceremony is planned to be held outdoors at Charles A. Henry Field if the advance weather forecast is favorable. However, if the weather forecast is judged to create safety, comfort or other concerns, a decision will be made Wednesday morning to move Saturday's ceremony inside to Martin Field House.

The outdoor location at Charles A. Henry Field does not require tickets except for guests with special seating needs.  The attendance outdoors is not restricted since capacity is unlimited.  All family members and friends are welcome to attend.

The indoor location at Martin Field House does have limited capacity and therefore requires tickets.  Since a weather call will not be made until the Wednesday before commencement, all graduates need to register for the contingency indoor tickets by May 1, 2015 using the online commencement registration and ticketing process.  All contingency tickets are distributed ahead of time.  Unfortunately, tickets will not be available on commencement day.

Whether the ceremony is held indoors or outdoors, a live video simulcast is shown in Price Gym which is next to Henry Field and Martin Field House. This provides an indoor seating option for guests who prefer sitting inside or an overflow seating option for extra capacity if the ceremony is moved to Martin Field House due to the weather call.

Regardless of the weather decision made the Wednesday before commencement, the ceremony could still be delayed, shortened, or cancelled for a variety of reasons, including unexpected severe weather or other unforeseen 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 unexpectedly arises on Commencement Day, a decision will be made 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

Potential actions are described below:

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

If there is an unexpected severe weather risk commencement day 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 2 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, but it will be shortened.

If there is an unexpected severe weather risk commencement day 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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