NU-Q prepares for graduation

The Events Hall is the largest sound-stage in the region and has been used to host several large-scale events.

Sixty-one students will celebrate their graduation day in the updated NU-Q Events Hall, specially equipped for the occasion. 

Ray Corcoran, director of facilities, and his team have prepared the room to allow a smoother flow of activities and to accommodate more guests.

The space is the largest sound-stage in the region and has been used to host several large-scale events. The modifications include the addition of the Doha Weber Arch, an elevated control room, the installation of a foldable glass wall, and incorporation of mobile step seating.

The Class of 2018 will be the first class to graduate under the Doha Weber Arch, a scaled replica of the architectural landmark on the University’s Evanston campus. The tradition to walk through the arch after receiving their degrees, will now be followed at NU-Q – tying both campuses together. “Students will have that great element of the Northwestern experience here now,” Corcoran said. 

When NU-Q moved into the building in 2016, the Events Hall featured an overhead VIP viewing deck. Corcoran’s team converted this deck into a control room by fitting the room out with electrical and data connections. 

“Technicians in the control room will now have better audio control and the ability to tweak and adjust systems in a way that won’t disturb audiences,” Corcoran said. New ceiling-mounted projectors were also added.  

Aiming to improve the flow of the event, the fixed glass walls between the Forum and the Hall were replaced with a foldable partition – making the room more accessible to the rest of the building and allowing more engagement. 

To increase occupancy within the Hall, NU-Q installed “portable telescopic seating systems,” which are stadium-style seats that can be moved around the space to fit the exact dimensions of the room. The new fittings will allow for a more flexible arrangement of the events space. 

The graduation on May 7 is the second one to take place at NU-Q’s new building. The Events Hall has hosted the Class of 2017 Graduation, NU-Q Building Dedication, the Class of 2021 Convocation Ceremony, and the Studio 20Q Premiere.