CCSU graduation ceremonies to be held at XL Center Saturday

Published on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 21:21
Written by Charles Paullin


NEW BRITAIN - Central Connecticut State University’s commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2018 will take place Saturday at the XL Center in Hartford.

Undergraduate and graduate school degree candidates from the Ammon College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Engineering, Science & Technology will graduate during the morning ceremony, which starts at 9 a.m.

The ceremony for undergraduate and graduate school candidates from the School of Business and the School of Education and Professional Studies will be at 3 p.m.

CCSU spokeswoman Janice Palmer said having the graduate school ceremony on campus and the undergraduate ceremony at the XL Center, as was the case last year, is not being done this year because Kaiser Hall, where the graduate school degree candidates had graduated last year, is under construction.

The ceremony is now too big to be held at Welte Auditorium, where it had been held before moving to Kaiser Hall, she said, and the school wants to avoid limiting graduates to two guest tickets.

The guest speaker for the morning ceremony will be Sue Ann Collins, a senior vice president and chief actuary at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, a life insurance organization with $250 billion in assets, a release announcing the ceremonies stated. She will also be awarded the President’s Medal for her community efforts.

The guest speaker in the afternoon will be Charles T. Fote, former CEO and chairman of First Data Corp., a processor of credit and debit card transactions that grew from an $11 million to a $12 billion company during his tenure.

Fote, who attended CCSU from 1969 to 1971, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his support of the CCSU School of Business.

CCSU President Zulma Toro will preside over both ceremonies and will be joined by Jennifer LaVoie of Bristol, president of the Graduate Student Association, and Sedina Begic of Wethersfield, president of the Undergraduate Class of 2018, both of whom will offer brief remarks.

A total of 2,800 graduate and undergraduate diplomas will be awarded, with each ceremony expected to run about 2½ hours.

About 95 percent of graduating students are Connecticut residents. The total graduating class represents 31 U.S. states and 23 countries.

There are 414 undergraduate students graduating with cum laude, magna cum laude and summa cum laude distinction, the release stated.

No tickets are required for admission and there is no limit to the number of guests per graduate, according to the university’s commencement web page, There is no assigned seating, but ushers will be available to assist.

All guests must enter the XL Center through the Trumbull Street entrance and pass through a security screening. No backpacks or large handbags will be allowed inside and some handbags may be searched.

Guests with physical disabilities should identify themselves to an usher for assistance. Sections for guests who use mobility devices will be reserved.

A sign language interpreter will be present, for TTY hearing-impaired reservations, call 860-549-7706.

For more questions about accommodations for people with disabilities, call 860-249-7528.

Public parking garages and a lot adjacent to the XL Center will be open for parking at driver’s expense, according to the commencement web page. Hartford police will be on hand to provide safety and traffic control assistance.

CTfastrak bus service is also available, with schedule and routes available at

No alcoholic beverage possession or consumption will be allowed. Alcoholic beverage containers will be confiscated and anyone violating the policy will be denied admission.

The XL Center reserves the right to remove any guest or participant for inappropriate behavior, according to the commencement webpage. Respect is asked for all graduates and guests by silencing electronic devices and remaining seated until the ceremony concludes.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 21:21. Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2018 21:24.