Yale University to Hold 307th Commencement May 25, 26

Yale University’s 2008 Commencement will be held on May 25 and May 26 on the Yale campus. All members of the media must obtain and display Yale media credentials during Class Day (Sunday) and Commencement (Monday) ceremonies on Old Campus. Credentials are required for access to the media platform on Old Campus. Requests for media credentials should be emailed to opa@yale.edu. Reserved credentials may be picked up from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday–Friday, May 20-23 at the Office of Public Affairs, 265 Church Street, suite 901, corner of Church and Grove streets. 


Yale College Baccalaureate, 11 a.m.
Members of the media are invited to attend the Yale College Baccalaureate service for Yale College seniors and their families in Woolsey Hall, northwest corner of Grove and College streets. Space for camera crews must be reserved by Friday, May 23, 5 p.m., by contacting the Office of Public Affairs at 203-432-1333. Media may cover the ceremony from the back of the balcony in Woolsey Hall. Camera crews must be in place before the ceremony begins and are requested to remain in place until the end of the event, which lasts about 90 minutes.

Yale College Class Day, 2 p.m.
Members of the media are invited to attend Class Day on Old Campus, bordered by Elm, College, Chapel and High streets. This year, the speaker will be former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. See accompanying biography. Class Day traditions include planting the Class Ivy, 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 a white handkerchief.

Media must cover Class Day events from the news media platform to the left of the stage, on the High Street side of Old Campus. 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. There will be special security screening procedures in effect this year. Large bags, backpacks and metal items (with the exception of items that can pass through airport-type screening) will be searched. Media should use the High Street gate closest to Elm Street to enter Old Campus and access the media platform. This is the same gate used to accommodate guests with disabilities or special needs. The gate will be staffed by OPA to assist media members.


University Commencement, 10:30 a.m.
Commencement exercises on Old Campus will begin when all graduates have reached their seats. Media should use the High Street gate closest to Elm Street to enter Old Campus and access the media platform.

All media photographers, reporters and television 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 will be provided on the news media platform. Yale announces honorary degree recipients at the Commencement ceremony. The undergraduate residential colleges and graduate and professional schools hold diploma ceremonies following the main Commencement exercises.

Brief Biography of Tony Blair

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was born in 1953 in Scotland. Leader of the British Labour Party, he served as prime minister of the United Kingdom (1997–2007). He was the youngest prime minister since 1812 and the longest-serving Labour prime minister.

The son of a barrister, Blair graduated from St. John’s College, Oxford, in 1975 and was called to the bar the following year. He became increasingly involved in Labour Party politics and in 1983 was elected to the House of Commons.

In 1994, Blair was elected the new leader of the Labour Party and by mid-1995, he had shifted the Labour Party to the center of British politics, promoting free enterprise, anti-inflationary policies, aggressive crime prevention and support for Britain’s integration into the European Union. He also increased public spending on health and education, introduced a minimum wage and helped negotiate the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that ended 30 years of bitter conflict with Northern Ireland.

In June 2007 he became Middle East envoy representing the quartet (the European Union, the United Nations, the United States and Russia). With an office in Jerusalem, he works to promote the peace process and the economic and political development of Palestine.

Next year Blair will teach at Yale as the Howland Distinguished Fellow.

Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325