Commencement is a truly joyous occasion; it is a day of celebration that represents the culmination of years of intellectual fortitude, intense focus, and countless cups of coffee. It is an opportunity for family, friends, and the many faculty and staff at the University of Bridgeport to applaud our graduates for their accomplishments.
Commencement will be moving back to the University’s campus after many years at an off-site venue, taking place at Marina Park, under a big top tent—in honor of Bridgeport legend, P.T. Barnum.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes
United States Representative (D-CT 5th District)
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes is a groundbreaking and award-winning teacher and public servant. Answering the call to serve her community, she was elected to represent the Fifth District of Connecticut in November 2018. She is the first African-American woman to represent the state of Connecticut in Congress. Hayes first garnered widespread notoriety while serving as a teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, when she was selected as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year. In spring 2016, the Council of Chief State School Officers announced Hayes as National Teacher of the Year, and she was presented with the honor by former President Barack Obama. President Obama noted that, “Jahana cares about the example she sets as much as the exams that she scores.”
In her capacity as National Teacher of the Year, Hayes traveled the country and the world as an ambassador for public education, engaging all stakeholders in policy discussions meant to improve outcomes for students.
Congresswoman Hayes’ story is one of achievement despite the odds—overcoming the obstacles that life can place before you. She has been quoted as saying that “education saved her life” and is a fierce advocate for ensuring that equitable access to educational opportunities exists for all students and families.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Connecticut State University, a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of St. Joseph, and a certificate of advanced studies in educational leadership from the University of Bridgeport.
Congresswoman Hayes’ legislative priorities will focus on gun violence prevention in all communities, ensuring access to healthcare for as many Americans as possible, providing equitable access to education and opportunity for students, and encouraging bipartisanship to bring positive change.
At 12 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2019, undergraduate students must participate in a mandatory Commencement Ceremony rehearsal. Please convene at Wheeler Recreation Center. At the rehearsal, students will learn about the rules and procedures of the ceremony and practice walking across the stage. Names of participants will be read at rehearsal, allowing for review of pronunciation. Students will be provided with their “Reader’s Card” at rehearsal and must keep them until commencement.
Students will complete a “Graduate Exit Survey” so that we can learn more about your post-graduation plans, confirm your contact information, and gather important feedback about your experience at the University of Bridgeport.
At the rehearsal, students will receive their two inclement weather tickets for the Hubbell Gymnasium. More details about the indoor ticketing policy are below. Students who are unable to attend the rehearsal must pick up inclement weather tickets on Friday, May 17, 2019 from the bookstore.
Students may pick up their academic regalia at the campus bookstore beginning May 6, 2019 and throughout Grad Week, May 13-17, 2019.
|Monday||May 6 & 13||9 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Tuesday||May 7 & 14||9 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Wednesday||May 8 & 15||9 a.m. - 7 p.m.|
|Thursday||May 9 & 16||9 a.m. - 5 p.m.|
|Friday||May 10 & 17||9 a.m. - 8 p.m.|
Commencement participants must convene at Wheeler Recreation Center at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The procession of commencement participants begins at 9 a.m.
Seating under the tent at Marina Park will be available on a first-come first-served basis beginning at 6:30 a.m. All party guests must be present to reserve a seat. For example, if you have 10 guests, all 10 must be present to reserve their seats. As a courtesy to other graduates and their families, we ask that all families respect this policy. Security will be onsite to enforce it as needed.
The University of Bridgeport will not allow weapons or alcohol on campus. Campus security will escort any guests and participants who appear to be intoxicated off the premises. Commencement participants may not wear clothing or devices with lights or reflective surfaces as it may interfere with the livestream feed.
Families should refrain from using large signs and loud noises throughout the duration of the ceremony as this could distract others from seeing their own commencement participant. No balloons are allowed under the tent as this may obstruct the view of guests and the livestream feed. The University reserves the right to seize any item deemed dangerous or a serious distraction to the ceremony.
Mandeville Hall, Rooms 104 and 107 will be available as off-site viewing locations for those unwilling/unable to sit outdoors.
The University will livestream the ceremony for those family and friends who are not able to celebrate in person. The link to the livestream will be available on Saturday, May 18, 2019 on the University of Bridgeport website (www.bridgeport.edu/live).
Immediately following the Commencement Ceremony, we invite all graduates and their guests to a reception on the lawn at President Trombley’s residence, Waldemere Hall.
Inclement Weather Plan & Indoor Ticketing Policy
In the case of extreme weather, such as severe wind, thunder, lightning, or hail, the Commencement Ceremony will move indoors to Mertens Theater in the Arnold Bernhard Center (ABC), 84 Iranistan Avenue. At that time, the indoor ticketing policy will be in effect. Rain alone will not force the ceremony indoors.
At the Thursday Commencement Ceremony rehearsal, students will receive their two inclement weather tickets for the Hubbell Gymnasium. Students who are unable to attend the rehearsal must pick up inclement weather tickets on Friday, May 17, 2019 from the bookstore. The University will not replace lost or stolen tickets.
The weather call for the ceremony will be made at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. Should the ceremony move indoors, the University will activate emergency response measures to communicate the decision via text, phone call, email, website, and social media.
Commencement participants must convene in the first floor of the ABC by 7:30 a.m. Only Commencement Ceremony participants will be allowed in Mertens Theater. No guests will be allowed into ABC.
Participants will each receive two tickets for guests to observe the ceremony at the Hubbell Gymnasium. Guests who do not present an indoor Commencement Ceremony ticket will not gain entrance into Hubbell Gymnasium. Campus Security will be onsite to enforce this policy. Additional seating will be available in these viewing locations on a first-come first-served basis:
- Mandeville Hall, Rooms 104 and 107
- Charles Dana Hall, Room 107
Guests of participants should report directly to these locations should the ceremony be moved indoors due to inclement weather. There will be no reception at the President’s residence if the indoor ticketing policy is in effect.
Graduates may wish to wear flats as the procession and recession will cross the grass, which could be soft from rain. In the case of inclement weather, you may wish to wear casual clothes beneath your robe and carry an umbrella. Please dress appropriately for conditions.
Only the graduate will be allowed to walk across the stage during the Commencement Ceremony. Children or other guests, will not be permitted on stage for safety and liability reasons.
Smoking/Alcohol—Smoking is strictly prohibited except for designated outdoor locations. Alcohol may not be brought on site.
Prohibited Items—The following items are prohibited from Marina Park: outside food and beverages, chains, weapons, laser pointers, aerosol cans, illegal substances, animals, beach balls, inflatables, bull horns or noisemakers, fireworks, and signs with sticks.