University of Vermont

University Communications

University of Vermont's 209th Commencement Ceremony Set for Sunday, May 20

The University of Vermont will celebrate its 209th commencement on Sunday, May 20. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on the University Green. Tickets are not required.

The student and faculty line up will begin at 8 a.m., and the processional will begin at 8:20 a.m.

At the main ceremony Sunday and at the Graduate College ceremony Saturday, interim President John Bramley will confer degrees on approximately 3,202 graduates, including 2,552 bachelor's, 429 master's, 94 doctoral, and 114 M.D. degree recipients, in addition to 13 post-baccalaureate certificates. Among expected degree recipients are students from 39 states and 60 international students from 22 countries. Approximately 1,230 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes an expected 287 African, Latino/a, Asian and Native American (ALANA) students and students identifying with two or more races.

Cyma Zarghami, UVM alumna and president of Nickelodeon and MTV Networks' Kids & Family Group, will deliver the address to graduates and receive an honorary doctor of letters degree at the ceremony. After leaving the University of Vermont, alumna Cyma Zarghami took a position at Nickelodeon in 1985, a then start-up children's television network. Beginning at an entry-level position, Zarghami gradually rose through the company ranks. She was named president in 2006 and now oversees all creative and business operations for Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group, which has been the number one cable television network in the United States for 17 straight years, and has expanded to serve more than 350 million people in over 25 languages around the world.

In addition to Zarghami, the university will confer honorary degrees upon Robert De Cormier, John William Hennessey, Jr., Denise Shekerjian and Ann Swanson.

The following street closings are planned in conjunction with commencement: from Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. through Sunday, May 20, at 8 p.m., University Place will be closed from Colchester Avenue to Main Street, and South Prospect Street will be closed from College Street to the University Health Center entrance. On Sunday, May 20 from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., South Prospect Street will be closed from the University Health Center entrance to Main Street, and College Street will be closed from South Prospect Street to South Williams Street.

Shuttle buses will run between ceremony sites and parking areas. A parking map is available on the Commencement 2012 website.  Guests are encouraged to carpool when possible and take shuttles from hotels when provided. Parking on residential streets is prohibited.

The main ceremony and each college’s ceremony will be webcast live on the following website:

Several of the colleges' ceremonies will feature distinguished speakers, including Susan Wallace, chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Jordan Saxe ’02, director of the Americas for the NASDAQ Stock Market, for the School of Business Administration; Jeanne A. Morrissey, president of J.A. Morrissey, Inc., for the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; Hal Colston, executive director of SerVermont, for the Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources; and Dr. G. Scott Waterman, professor of psychiatry and associate dean for student affairs, for the College of Medicine, among others.

More information about commencement weekend, including the full schedule of ceremonies and receptions, is available on the Commencement 2012 website: