Auditorium Theatre worthy commencement substitute

By Editorial Board

After hosting the annual commencement ceremony at the Chicago Theatre for three years, the college announced Oct. 16 that this year’s graduation ceremonies would be held at the historic Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway.

The Chicago Theater opted not to pursue a multi-year contract with Columbia, forcing the administration to find an alternative location, as reported Oct. 20 by The Chronicle.

For some Columbia students, taking a picture outside the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., in their caps and gowns was a moment they looked forward to and the change was disappointing news, as evidenced by the creation of a petition urging the administration to keep commencement at the Chicago Theatre on Their disappointment is understandable, but it was the theater’s decision not to pursue an agreement with the college, so the administration chose the next best venue. The Auditorium Theatre is larger, closer to campus than the Chicago Theatre and is a nationally recognized landmark.

The Auditorium Theatre is adjacent to Columbia’s spread-out campus. By contrast, the Chicago Theatre is a mile away.

Also, three years is not nearly long enough to designate the Chicago Theatre as part of a “tradition,” and it was unrealistic for students to expect the location to remain, considering the college’s venue-hopping history.

The Auditorium Theatre, designed by legendary architect Louis Sullivan, is known for its exceptional acoustics. There is no doubt the Chicago Theatre is iconic but the Auditorium Theatre is just as memorable.

When it comes down to it, it is the diploma that matters, not the marquee on the building.