Media Advisory: Yale’s 315th Commencement events to be held May 22 and 23

Yale University’s 315th Commencement will take place on Monday, May 23 at 10 a.m. Ambassador Samantha Power, ’92, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s cabinet, will be the featured speaker at the 2016 Yale Class Day exercises on May 22 at 2 p.m.

The Honorable Ashton Carter, ’76, secretary of defense, will deliver remarks at the 2016 Joint Military Commissioning ceremony on Monday, May 23 at Battell Chapel at 4:30 p.m.

RSVP: All members of the media must display Yale press credentials during Class Day and Commencement. Credentials are required for access to the media platform on Old Campus. Requests should be emailed to

Reserved credentials can be picked up 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 16-20 at the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC), 2 Whitney Grove Square, Suite 330 (corner of Grove and Whitney Streets). Contact phone number is: 203-432-1345.

All media photographers, reporters and television camera crews must cover Class Day and Commencement from the news media platform, where video and audio feeds will be available. Access to the platform requires a Yale media credential. 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.

Information is available online.

Sunday, May 22 Yale College Baccalaureate, 11 a.m.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the Baccalaureate service for Yale College seniors and their families at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 22. The ceremony, which features addresses by President Peter Salovey and Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway, will take place in Woolsey Hall, northwest corner of Grove and College streets. Electronic media that plan to cover this event need to reserve space in advance. Camera crews must be positioned before the service begins and are requested to remain in place until the end of the event, which lasts about 90 minutes.

Sunday, May 22 Class Day, 2 p.m., Old Campus

Media Entrance: High Street gate, closest to Elm Street between Chapel and Elm.

Class Day, featuring Power’s talk, will include traditions, such as planting the Class Ivy, reciting the Ivy Ode, awarding academic prizes to students, and singing Yale’s alma mater, “Bright College Years,” while waving a white handkerchief.

Monday, May 23, Commencement, 10:30 a.m., Old Campus

Media Entrance:High Street gate, closest to Elm Street between Chapel and Elm.

Monday, May 23, 2016 Joint Military Commissioning ceremony at Battell Chapel, 400 College St.

Watch Class Day and Commencement live on the Yale YouTube channel.

Follow Yale on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for images and stories about the weekend’s activities, including a Baccalaureate Address by Yale President Peter Salovey, a reception for parents and graduates, and much more. Use the hashtag #Yale2016 on Twitter, and on Instagram to share your photos and impressions. Follow @Yale for live tweets from Class Day and Commencement. Albums of Class Day & Commencement photos will be available to download from Yale’s Flickr account. Email photos you’d like to share on the Yale Facebook page to

Stay connected to Commencement information on your smartphones and tablets by linking to the Yale Commencement website, which will have full schedules and additional information.


A graduate of Yale College (Class of 1992), Power has sought — and continues to seek — to make our world a better place, said the Class Day organizers, adding that her perseverance, bravery, and passion are inspirational.

Power (a resident of Davenport College during her undergraduate years at Yale) has received international renown for her career as a journalist, human rights activist, academic, and diplomat.

Power lived in Ireland until she was 9 years old, when her family immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Yale, Power worked as a journalist covering the wars in the Balkans, and went on to report from East Timor, Kosovo, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, among other conflict areas. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “’A Problem from Hell’: America and the Age of Genocide” and “Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World,” which was the basis for the award-winning HBO documentary “Sergio.”   

Power was the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Prior to being appointed U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s cabinet in 2013, Power served for four years as a special assistant to the president and senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights at the National Security Council. She is married to Professor Cass Sunstein, and they have two young children.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart:, 203-432-1326