Light & Verity

Commencement's expanding footprint

A sea of chairs on the Old Campus.

One of the few ways Yale’s university-wide commencement ceremony may have changed since your own time is the size of the gathering. Thirty years ago, more than 13,000 people gathered on the Old Campus, including 2,901 graduates. This year, there was a crowd of 19,000, including more than 4,000 graduates. As you can see from the drone photo above, that means that the sea of folding chairs now stretches all the way to Vanderbilt Hall—a tenth of a mile from the dais. Large video screens bring the action closer for those in the hinterlands.

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