University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM's 207th Commencement Set for Sunday, May 22; Ceremony Moved Indoors

Due to wet conditions on the Green, the ceremony will take place in the Athletic Complex Multipurpose Facility

The University of Vermont will celebrate its 207th commencement on Sunday, May 22. The main ceremony, which has been moved indoors due to persistent rain and the saturated condition of the University Green, begins at 9 a.m. in the Multipurpose Facility in the Athletic Complex. Overflow seating will be available in the adjoining Patrick Gymnasium, where the ceremony can be seen on large screen, closed-circuit TV. Tickets are not required.

Line up will begin at 8 a.m. with students gathering in the Gardner-Collins Indoor Track and faculty gathering in the Varsity Strength and Conditioning Center. The processional will begin at 8:20 a.m.

At this year’s commencement ceremonies, President Daniel Mark Fogel will confer degrees on approximately 3,097 graduates, including 2,475 bachelor's, 392 master's, 97 doctoral, and 111 M.D. degree recipients, in addition to 22 post-baccalaureate certificates. Among expected degree recipients are students from 43 states and 60 international students from 19 countries. Approximately 1,235 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes an expected 229 African, Latino/a, Asian and Native American (ALANA) and bi/multi-racial students.

Billie Jean King will deliver the address to graduates and receive an honorary doctor of letters degree at Sunday’s ceremony. One of Life magazine’s 100 most important Americans in the 20th century, King is a legend both for stellar tennis and breaking barriers for female athletes. In 1972, after capturing every Grand Slam singles title, she became the first woman to be named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year. After setting an earnings record for female athletes, King successfully advocated for equal prize money at a time when men were winning three times that of women. Most famously she routed former champion Bobby Riggs in three straight sets, a message to athletes and spectators, young and old. King has worked tirelessly on and off the court for social justice and equity around gender and GLBT issues. Among many honors for her service King was awarded the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

In addition to King, the university will confer honorary degrees upon Letitia C. Biddle, Major General Michael D. Dubie, Bruce Lisman, Keith M. Miser, Dr. Thomas J. Sullivan, Professor Emerita Marion Brown Thorpe, and Simon Pearce.

The following street closing is planned in conjunction with commencement: from Friday, May 20, at 7 p.m. through Sunday, May 22, at 8 p.m., University Place will be closed from Colchester Avenue to Main Street.

Shuttle buses will run between ceremony sites and parking areas. A parking map is available on the Commencement 2011 website.  Guests are encouraged to carpool when possible and take shuttles from hotels when provided. Parking on residential streets is prohibited.

The ceremony will be webcast on the following website:

Several of the colleges' ceremonies will feature distinguished speakers, including Charles Ross, Vermont secretary of agriculture, for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; James Schaefer, managing director of UBS Investment Bank, for the School of Business Administration; Wolfgang Mieder, UVM professor of German and Russian; and Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, for the College of Medicine, among others.

The College of Arts and Sciences’ ceremony, to begin at 2:30 p.m., will also be moved indoors in the Athletic Complex Multipurpose Facility.

More information about commencement weekend, including the full schedule of ceremonies and receptions, is available on the Commencement 2011 website.