By Shelby Brown —
After backlash from students, alumni and parents, the university has decided it’s worth it to print the names of all graduating seniors in the 2018 commencement program. U of L spokesperson John Karman and Director Student Success Joseph Dablow confirmed the decision.
“Dr. Postel and Dr. Bendapudi have talked and decided the best thing for students and parents would be to include the graduates’ names in the commencement programs,” Karman said.
During an exclusive conversation with The Cardinal the morning of April 18, incoming President Neil Bendapudi learned about the deletion of senior names to save roughly $12,000.
Bendapudi expressed her distaste and promised to get back to the Cardinal. She called Interim President Gred Postel, who was on a plane at the time.
Less than two hours later, administration reversed the decision.
After hearing about the deletion April 10, the university community took to social media, voicing their anger over the decision.
On April 16 the administration doubled back, suggesting a PDF of the program including all names would be made available online for students to print at their own expense.
Students saw this as a step down.
“I think it’s silly that the students are the first thing they think to cut when trying to save money. They could choose from lots of options, but they think the names should go. Where does all the tuition money go then if they can’t set aside a few dollars for me to have something to keep?” senior Kelsey Mix said.
Student Sophia Sanchez criticized the original decision because of the amount of money students already put into the university.
In a Cardinal Twitter poll conducted earlier in April, 73 percent of students said they wanted to see their names appear in the commencement program.
Dablow had indicated last week “significant blowback” could reverse his decision to gut the program from 68 pages to eight. Now all graduating seniors, masters degree and PhD candidates will see their names in the official program.
Graduation is May 12 at the KFC Yum! Center.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal