A Recent History of Georgia State University’s Commencement
Commencement was held for many years in the Georgia State Sports Arena. Ceremonies were held at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Because of growing graduating classes, multiple ceremonies were held each semester. Each student was given four tickets for guests.
With continued growth of the university and commencement, Georgia State moved commencement to the Georgia Dome. The university hosted its first commencement at the Georgia Dome in December 2007. The change in venue also changed the ceremony’s format. While the ceremony no longer recognized students individually, students could invite as many guests as they wished and summer degree candidates were invited to participate at the spring ceremonies, which eliminated the summer ceremonies. These venue and format changes were met with great student concern, but in time graduating students grew to appreciate commencement at the Georgia Dome.
The Georgia Dome is scheduled to close permanently in March 2017, and Georgia State’s fall 2016 university-wide commencement was its last in the Dome. The Commencement Committee did an exhaustive search to determine options available in the Atlanta area for future ceremonies. Most facilities were either unavailable on the dates requested, not large enough to accommodate our ceremony or unwilling to arrange for our event because of possible scheduling conflicts. If any of these had been available, they would have required ticketing for commencement. The Georgia Dome with its 80,000-seat capacity is the only venue in Atlanta that can accommodate unlimited seating for commencement. The Commencement Committee determined the only space available that met our needs is the McCamish Pavilion at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
We are excited to announce plans to host future spring commencements in Georgia State Stadium, but this is not an option for spring 2017 because of the construction underway to ensure Georgia State Football to open the 2017 season in the new stadium. Plans for future fall commencements are still being considered. We anticipate returning to our previous ceremony format and enabling students in the spring commencement to invite as many guests as they like in 2018.
Alma Mater, we are loyal to the name of Georgia State.
Love and honor we accord thee and devotion from our hearts.
In respect and veneration we shall always hold thy name.
Nurturer of light and knowledge we shall ever tell thy fame.
Happy are thy sons and daughters spread abroad throughout the land.
Knowing that we are forever part of thine own faithful band.
Where the paths of life are crowded, we have known thy pleasant bond;
And the love of Alma Mater we shall never pass beyond.