Yale University's 299th Commencement Events To Be Held May 21 and May 22

Yale University's 299th Commencement events will be held Sunday, May 21, and Monday, May 22, on the Yale campus.

Yale University’s 299th Commencement events will be held Sunday, May 21, and Monday, May 22, on the Yale campus.

All reporters and photographers must have Yale media credentials during Class Day (Sunday) and Commencement (Monday) ceremonies on Old Campus for access to the news media platform. Fax credential requests on your organization’s letterhead to Elizabeth Connolly in the Yale Office of Public Affairs at (203) 432-1323. Reserved credentials may be picked up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 18-19; or at the news media platform on Old Campus on Class Day or Commencement day. The Office of Public Affairs is at 433 Temple Street, near the corner of Temple and Trumbull streets.

Commencement information is available on the Web at:


The two-day schedule of Commencement events follows:


Baccalaureate Address: At 11:30 a.m. in Woolsey Hall, at the northwest corner of Grove and College streets, Yale President Richard C. Levin will deliver the Baccalaureate Address to graduating Yale College seniors and their families. Members of the news media are invited to attend. Television camera crews may cover the Baccalaureate Address from the balcony to the immediate right of the stage. Space for camera crews can only be made available if it is reserved by Friday, May 19, by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at (203) 432-1345.

Class Day, an event organized by Yale College seniors, begins at 2:30 p.m. on the lawn of Old Campus, which is bordered by Elm, College, Chapel and High streets. The Yale College Class Day speaker on Sunday will be Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.

The Class Day program also includes traditional events such as planting the Class Ivy and reciting the Ivy Ode; awarding teaching prizes to faculty members and academic prizes to students; and singing Yale’s alma mater, “Bright College Years,” while waving the traditional white handkerchief.

Reporters may cover Class Day events from the news media platform to the left of the stage, near the High Street entrance. There will be a mult-box for radio/television crews. A BNC video feed from Yale’s dedicated camera in front of the stage will provide a head-on camera angle.


Commencement exercises on Old Campus are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., when all graduates have reached their seats (Comcast is scheduled to broadcast Commencement live on Channel 8).

Reporters wishing to cover the graduation procession to Old Campus may do so from Cross Campus, which is bounded by Elm, High, Wall and College streets. College seniors and candidates for graduate degrees will begin to assemble there at 9:30 a.m. At about 10 a.m., the procession will begin to move through Noah Porter Gate on Elm Street toward the New Haven Green.

Joining the procession on the Green will be honorary degree recipients and members of the Yale administration and governing board. The procession enters Old Campus through Phelps Gateway on College Street (Candidates for graduate and professional degrees enter Old Campus from Elm and High streets).

Once the procession has begun, police will not allow anyone who is not an official member of the procession to enter Old Campus through Phelps Gateway until after the procession has passed. Enter through the next gate on College Street near the corner of Chapel Street, or through the open gate on High Street.

All reporters, photographers and camera crews must cover Commencement from the news media platform, where video and audio feeds will be available. Access to the platform requires a Yale media credential. Information about the number of degrees being granted, the names of those receiving honorary degrees and other awards being presented will be provided. Yale announces honorary degree recipients at the Commencement ceremony.

Each of Yale College’s 12 residential colleges holds a diploma ceremony following the main Commencement exercises. These ceremonies are held in the courtyards of each college.

Graduate and professional school diploma ceremonies also are held Monday at the various schools after University Commencement, beginning about noon, unless otherwise indicated below. Some schools have guest speakers at these events and some schools also have events on Sunday.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: Dean Susan Hockfield hosts the Graduate School Commencement Convocation Sunday, May 21, starting at 2:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York St. Maxine Singer, Ph.D. (Yale ‘57), president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C., will deliver the convocation address. Academic prizes will be given to students. Faculty mentors Michele Dillon, Gilbert Joseph and Haig Keshishian will be honored, and the Wilbur Lucius Cross Medals will be awarded to distinguished alumni (this year: James G. Arthur, Ph.D. 1970; Evelyn Boyd Granville, Ph.D. 1949; Ruth Barcan Marcus, Ph.D. 1946; and Shelley E. Taylor, Ph.D. 1972). A reception follows. On Monday, May 22, the Graduate School holds its diploma ceremony in Woolsey Hall. A reception and lunch follow at HGS.

Schools of Art and Architecture: Monday, May 22, in Weir Courtyard of the Yale University Art Gallery, 66 High St. Richard Benson, dean of the School of Art, is the speaker at a joint ceremony. The School of Architecture will host a luncheon in Weir Court following the ceremony. (In the event of rain, Art ceremonies will be in Hastings Hall in the Art and Architecture Building. Architecture ceremonies will be in the Art Gallery Lecture Hall, with a reception following in the Sculpture Hall of the Art Gallery.)

Divinity School: Sunday, May 21, 4:00 p.m., YDS Commencement Service on the YDS Front Quadrangle, 409 Prospect St. The Rev. Harry Adams is the speaker. A reception follows the Commencement Service, from 5:30–7:00 p.m., in the YDS Lower Quad, featuring music from Top Notch. On Monday, May 22, at 7:30 a.m., Communion Service for candidates and guests. Dr. Gilbert Bond is the preacher. At noon, YDS Commencement and awarding of divinity degrees is in the YDS Front Quadrangle followed by a buffet luncheon for graduates in the YDS Lower Quad at about 2:00 p.m.

School of Drama: Monday, May 22, in the University Theatre, 222 York St. Stan Wojewodski, Jr., Dean of the School of Drama, is the speaker. A reception follows at 1 p.m. at T. J. Tucker’s (the restaurant in the Colony Inn).

School of Medicine: Monday, May 22, Courtyard of Edward S. Harkness Hall, 367 Cedar St. Dr. Richard Belitsky, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, will deliver the commencement address.

School of Nursing: Monday, May 22, Shubert Performing Arts Center, 247 College St. Barbara A. Durand, EdD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing, Arizona State University, is the speaker. A reception follows the YSN ceremony.

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health: Monday, May 22, 2:00 p.m., Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health front lawn, 60 College St. Commencement speaker is Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, DC.

School of Forestry and Environmental Studies: Monday, May 22, Marsh Hall lawn, 360 Prospect St. The School is awarding two new degrees this year: a Master’s degree in Environmental Management (M.E.M.) and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science (M.E.Sc.). Garnet Brown (M.F. ‘64) will receive a Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Law School: Monday, May 22 in the Law School courtyard, 127 Wall St. Dean Anthony T. Kronman will make opening remarks. The speaker is Harold Hongju Koh, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Secretary Koh is on government service leave from Yale Law School, where he is the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law and former director of the Orville H. Schell Jr., Center for International Human Rights.

School of Management: Monday, May 22, in Caulkins Courtyard, 135 Prospect St. Dean Jeffrey E. Garten will host commencement ceremonies. Linda A. Mason (Yale SOM ‘80), chairman and co-founder of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the nation’s largest provider of corporate early education, will give the commencement address. Mason serves on the Yale School of Management Advisory Board and has recently been named an alumni trustee of Yale University.

School of Music: Monday, May 22, Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall, 470 College St.

Yale Center for International and Area Studies: Monday, May 22, 34 Hillhouse Ave. on front lawn. Gustav Ranis, the Center’s director, will deliver remarks.

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Office of Public Affairs & Communications: opac@yale.edu, 203-432-1345