Pomp and Circumstance and Tams
Public Relations - Published: May 14, 2014
Commencement Webcasts

Family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend this weekend’s commencement ceremonies in person are invited to participate by watching online. Both the Delaware campus and the Harrisburg campus graduations will be broadcast live at law.widener.edu/gradwebcast. The stream should begin about five minutes before the start of each ceremony.

The Delaware commencement begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. The Harrisburg commencement begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 18.
Widener Law Class of 2014 graduates will have the distinction of beginning a new tradition when they process into their ceremonies this weekend.

The graduates will be wearing black velvet, six-point tams. The move away from mortarboards comes after J.D. student requests on the Delaware campus, and a student signature drive among Harrisburg campus 2014 graduates who advocated a switch.

Tams are traditionally worn by those who have earned a doctoral-level degree. All J.D. and LL.M. graduates will wear them this year. Graduates earning M.J. degrees will continue to wear mortarboards.

“It is gratifying to have this opportunity. Doctoral tams represent the effort and dedication we invested in our distinguished degrees – and in our futures. The class of 2014 will wear these tams with great pride,” said graduating student Liya Groysman, immediate past president of the Delaware-campus Student Bar Association.

Delaware campus Registrar Tammy Graham said during the fall semester, J.D. students in the class of 2014 began asking to wear tams at commencement. Harrisburg campus Registrar Molly Acri said her campus had just decided to switch to tams when graduate Jamilah Espinosa approached her about it with signatures she had gathered from graduating classmates who, like her, wanted to wear tams.

“I put it on the class Facebook page,” Espinosa recalled. “I got probably the most ‘likes’ that I’ve ever gotten on that page. To us, it really makes a difference.”

Additional costs associated with the tams had always been a drawback to Widener’s using them. Changes to the 2014 commencement budget made the switch possible.

“We recognized this was something of great importance to our grads,” Acri said.

“I am pleased we were able to make it happen,” Graham said. “This has made them very happy.”

To celebrate, the Widener Law Public Relations Office will take photos on graduation day that capture graduates showing off their tams. The Delaware photo shoot will begin at 1:30 p.m. near the Strine Atrium, as students begin arriving for the 3 p.m. ceremony. The Harrisburg photo shoot will begin at 9:45 a.m. in The Forum back hallway. Participation is voluntary.

Graduates will be encouraged to share their tam photos using the hashtag #WidenerLawTamCam.

The school will use the hashtag #WidenerLaw2014 for all other commencement social media communications.