University of Vermont

University Communications

University to Celebrate 205th Commencement on the Green

Release Date: 05-16-2009

Contact: University Communications Staff
Phone: (802) 656-2005 FAX: (802) 656-3203

The University of Vermont will celebrate its 205th commencement on Sunday, May 17 at 9 a.m. on the University Green. Tickets are not required.

Weather update: The main commencement and the College of Arts and Sciences ceremonies will be held outdoors as planned on the University Green. Sunday's forecast calls for cool weather in the morning; guests are encouraged to dress accordingly. Two indoor locations will offer closed-circuit TV viewings of the ceremony: Memorial Lounge, main level Waterman Building, or the Billings/Ira Allen Lecture Hall.

Due to a forecast of inclement weather for Saturday, the Graduate College Hooding Ceremony, previously scheduled for the University Green, will take place at the rain site venue, Patrick Gymnasium, at 1 p.m..

At Sunday's ceremony, President Daniel Mark Fogel will confer degrees on an expected 2,781 graduates, including 2,266 bachelor's, 313 master's, 82 doctoral, and 105 M.D. degree recipients, in addition to 15 post-baccalaureate certificates. Among expected degree recipients are students from 45 states and 45 international students from 20 countries. Approximately 1,109 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes 189 African, Latino/a, Asian and Native American (ALANA) and bi/multi-racial students.

Sharing the podium with President Fogel will be commencement speaker Dr. Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and recent chair of the Democratic National Committee. Dean served the State of Vermont as a six-term governor, 1991-2003, and served the Democratic National Committee as chair for the past four years. He took the national stage as a candidate during the 2004 presidential primaries, drawing wide voter interest early in the campaign with his strong stand against war in Iraq. Though his run for the nomination was not successful, the Dean campaign's use of the internet to build support revolutionized the use of technology in presidential campaigns. As chair of the DNC, Dean spearheaded the "50 State Strategy," which sought to build Democratic in-roads in traditionally Republican states. The initiative is widely credited with contributing to Democrats' gains in the Senate and House elections of 2006 and Barack Obama's election as president in 2008.

Receiving honorary degrees this year along with Dean will be Dr. Ben R. Forsyth, who has served the University of Vermont as professor of medicine, senior vice president, trustee and advisor; Anthony J. Marro, a member of the UVM Class of 1965 and an award-winning reporter and longtime editor of Newsday, one of the nation's largest newspapers; Gretchen B. Morse, a member of UVM Class of 1975 who has spent 30 years working to improve the health and well-being of Vermonters as director of the United Way of Chittenden County, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services, and Vermont State representative; and William Pickens III, founder and president of Bill Pickens Associates, Inc., an international consulting and executive search firm, and also the founding president and chief executive officer of the Paul Robeson Foundation.

In preparation for the celebration, the following street closures are planned:

  • From Friday at 7 p.m. through Sunday at 8 p.m., University Place and South Prospect Street from UHC Entrance to College Street.
  • On Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., South Prospect Street from Colchester Avenue to Main Street (use South Williams Street access to UHC for appointments) and College Street from South Prospect to South Williams.

Parking on area residential streets is by city permit only. Parking at the university is available in designated lots. For details call (802) 656-8686 or visit the commencement parking website.

Shuttle buses will run on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The buses will run every 10 minutes from designated bus stops at Patrick Gym, Royall Tyler Theatre, Given Lot (Lot C), Ag/Engineering Lot (Lot B), and the Conference Center at the Sheraton (Lot D). A dedicated shuttle will run between the Flynn Theatre, Hilton Hotel, and Allen House.

Commencement ceremony reference guides and campus maps, which also contain information about busing, are available at the desks of most area hotels.

Several of the colleges' ceremonies will feature distinguished speakers, including Roger Allbee, Vermont secretary of agriculture, for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Paul Brandt-Rauf, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois, Chicago, for the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; and Abigail R. Kimbell, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, for the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, among others.

Information about each of the colleges' ceremonies can also be found on the commencement website. Due to the H1N1 global flu outbreak, hand sanitizer will be available at individual colleges' ceremonies and at information booths.

For a full schedule of commencement activities, visit the commencement website,