April 9, 2018

Senior names deleted from graduation program

By Shelby Brown —

Graduating seniors: your name will not appear in the commencement program next month to save money. The program, a keepsake cherished by graduates and their families, costs around $12,000.

A letter delivered to the Cardinal office said, “We pay a lot to go to school here and I think it is terrible they would cut this to save money.”  The director of student success said the university is slashing the program to do just that.

Commencement programs have cost $25,000 between the spring and winter ceremonies. Joe Dablow said the university will save more than $10,000 each semester.

Dablow said a small 4-8 page guide detailing the graduation ceremony will be printed. For comparison, the May 2017 program was 68 pages.  He said he believes graduate studies and doctoral students will have a different book listing their names.

“I think there will be some unhappy people this commencement, and then hopefully there will be less and less unhappy people if the university stays with this approach,” Dablow said.

Though anticipating blowback from students and parents, Dablow said the plan is to go forward with not printing names. He said depending on how much negative feedback the office gets and from whom, the course of action might change.

In a Cardinal Twitter Poll, 73 percent of students said they wanted to see their names printed in the graduation program. Four percent said they didn’t want to see their names printed and 23 percent had no opinion.

“Every year we print hundreds of students names in there that aren’t actual graduates of the university and that’s an interesting little converse of a problem associated with the program book,” Dablow said.

Dablow said some student’s names are printed despite not having fulfilled all degree requirements.

“The concerns are it’s just a practical matter with respect to the commencement budget. The cost of doing it at the KFC Yum! Center is pretty serious, and the fiscal climate of the university is tough. Now, that said, I’m not sure that reason flies either,” he said.

The anonymous writer argued that something else could be cut to save money.

“I am not donating back (to U of L) if decisions like this are made and students are kept out of the loop,” they said.

The spring graduation is May 12 at the KFC Yum! Center.


Photo by Shelby Brown / The Louisville Cardinal


8 thoughts on “Senior names deleted from graduation program

  1. As a parent of a graduating senior I can’t believe in the short sightedness of this decision. These students have worked for 4 or more years for this day and to have them blatantly ignored is beyond me. I know one thing, the university will not get one more dollar of support from me or members of my family over this decision. How about we eliminate Mr. Dablow’s position. I’m sure that would fund the printing of the graduates names for at least the next 5 years!!

  2. This is ridiculous! We paid for the yum center! We can afford to give president Ramsey millions of dollars but we can’t afford a commencement ceremony? FUCK THIS UNIVERSITY!

  3. Shame on you #UofL & Joe Dablow😡

    My daughter has worked hard & sacrificed to earn her degree with honors. She has spent countless hrs. researching, writing & defending her thesis to graduate Magna cum laude. I am beyond angry at the disrespect U of L is showing her and the Senior class of 2018. These students & their families have paid & taken out loans to get to this day. The class of 2018 has earned the respect and recognition. I am beyond proud of my daughters achievements but she deserves to have her name with honors displayed for friends & families to witness. The program is a keepsake that has been well paid for from all the money paid to earn their diploma.

    I am so disappointed in my alma mater!

  4. The graduates are the only reason for the day!
    Without them there’d be no ceremony.
    If they’re names are not listed in the program, why would we need a program at all. Who cares who the faculty and administrators are, or who’s speaking that day.
    Put ALL graduates names in there or just don’t print one.
    That will save you the $25,000 and you can lower tuition rates for 2018/19.

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