University of Lynchburg has adopted a new schedule for the spring 2016 semester to preserve cherished traditions while also moving graduation to an earlier date.
According to the new calendar, the spring semester will begin on January 11, about one week earlier than originally planned. Commencement will be held Saturday, May 7. The full 2015-2016 academic calendar can be read online at www.lynchburg.edu/academics/registrar/academic-calendar.
LC students, faculty, and staff are invited to a town hall meeting to discuss the calendar changes on Friday, July 17 at 12:30 p.m. in Sydnor Auditorium. The meeting will be live-streamed for students and families at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3zxZ8L6Zk0
Commencement was originally moved to the new date to avoid potential conflicts with two other events that would have brought thousands of visitors to the city later during the following two weekends—Liberty University’s graduation and the Lynchburg Regional Airshow. LC officials felt that the families of graduating seniors could more easily find hotels and other accommodations if the College moved commencement to May 7.
Students voiced several concerns about the earlier date without a corresponding earlier start to the semester. For example, the compressed time frame would have caused seniors to receive their actual diplomas in the mail after commencement, instead of during the ceremony. College administrators and students worked together to find solutions, which resulted in the earlier start for spring semester.
“Your thoughtful feedback over the past few weeks gave us much to think about,” said Sally Selden, vice president and dean for academic affairs, in an e-mail to students. “We recognized the challenges posed by a compressed exam week, and we learned that you cherish the tradition that University of Lynchburg is one of only a few institutions to actually award a diploma as our graduating seniors cross the stage.”
Jennifer Lynch, president of the Class of 2016, played an integral role in the discussions. She surveyed seniors and their families to receive feedback and collect proposed solutions. She was glad to see her classmates come together constructively to find solutions to the scheduling challenges. “I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am to have served as president of this class during this time,” she said.