What is changing about the College Convocation?
It was announced in Fall 2016 that, after December 2016, the University is consolidating its four quarterly convocations into an annual, unified ceremony in June. In an effort to make the weekend of that University-wide ceremony as special as possible, the College is instituting two significant changes. First, on Friday, June 8, the College will hold a Class Day event for graduating students and their families. Second, whereas the afternoon College Diploma Ceremony had been a single ceremony in the main quadrangle, it will become eight, concurrent ceremonies organized by Residence Hall, and presided over by the Resident Deans, on Saturday, June 9.
It is important to note that as in the past, Convocation on Saturday will begin with a morning ceremony where the College’s graduating class will gather with the graduating students of all the schools and divisions, University faculty, deans and staff. At this ceremony, Dean Boyer will present the College class, and President Robert J. Zimmer will verbally confer their degrees.
What is Class Day?
As noted above, Class Day will take place on Friday, June 8, before Convocation. The highlight of the day will be an event with an invited guest who speaks to the graduating class in the main quadrangle, addresses from the student speakers, and the presentation of the Quantrell Awards, the prize for excellence in teaching undergraduate students. In the evening, the Senior Class Reception, hosted by Dean of the College John W. Boyer, will take place at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Will there still be a baccalaureate ceremony?
Interest in the Baccalaureate Ceremony has grown in recent years, and the event has outgrown the traditional venue of Rockefeller Chapel. In an effort to make sure that everyone is able to participate, the elements of this event will be integrated throughout the Class Day celebration.
Who will be the speaker and how are they chosen?
We look forward to announcing the guest speaker in early Spring Quarter. At this point we can share that we are seeking a speaker who will appeal to a diverse audience of students, families, faculty, and staff. This year, a list of potential speakers has been compiled by College leadership and faculty, and the Dean of the College and the Dean of Students in the College will make the final selection and extend the invitation. The Maroon Key Society will serve as the Class Day planning group for this year’s event. In future years, a student advisory group will assist the Dean of the College and the Dean of Students in developing the list of potential speakers for consideration.
Will families be able to attend Class Day celebrations?
Yes! We hope that families will join the Class Day celebration on the main quadrangle as well as the Senior Class Reception, hosted by Dean of the College John W. Boyer, at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Why is this change to the College diploma ceremony being made?
We recognize that students have important connections to their College Housing communities and by organizing the College diploma ceremonies by Residence Hall, the ceremonies will be more intimate, which we believe will enhance the day’s celebratory nature and make it more meaningful for students and their families.
I have connections to more than one Residence Hall or College House, or my College House was retired or part of a decommissioned building. How will I know which ceremony to attend?
All graduating students will be assigned to a ceremony based on their first-year Residence Hall or last Hall of residency, wherever their current College House is located. Information regarding your ceremony will be included in your application for graduation, which will become available in early Winter Quarter.
What if I have special circumstances (a sibling in another Residence Hall, studied abroad and returned to a different College House, etc.) and want to graduate with a different Hall than I am assigned?
Students can request a change. Details about the change request process will be included with the application for graduation, which will become available in early Winter Quarter.
What is the schedule for College Convocation?
Many of the traditions of College Convocation remain the same: the all-class procession led by bagpipers, the role of student marshals, the faculty speaker and the conferring of degrees, to name a few. As in the past, Convocation Day will begin with the morning ceremony at 9:15 a.m. Following Convocation, students, families, and guests will make their way over to their diploma ceremony site where lunch will be provided. There will be eight, concurrent diploma ceremonies for the College, with all ceremonies expected to conclude by 1:00/1:30 p.m. More specific details will be provided as the date approaches.
Will I need tickets for my family and friends to attend Convocation Day?
Tickets are not required to attend the morning ceremony or any of the eight, concurrent diploma ceremonies. Seating at each ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be advised that seating at the diploma ceremonies will be limited. Accommodations will be available for individuals with special needs, and more information will be included in the application for graduation.
Where will my Diploma Ceremony be held?
All diploma ceremonies will be held on campus. The specific location for the eight diploma ceremonies will be provided in the coming weeks.
Who may I contact with more questions?
Please contact the College at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find more information related to logistics for Convocation at UChicago?
Please visit the University's Convocation website for additional information.