The University of Vermont will celebrate its 218th Commencement on Sunday, May 19. While Sunday’s forecast is calling for rain showers it does not indicate severe weather, therefore the University Commencement Main Ceremony and College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony will take place outdoors on the University Green. Graduates and guests are urged to dress appropriately for the weather. Tickets will not be required for the University Main Ceremony or the College of Arts and Sciences Ceremony.

On Sunday, May 19, President Tom Sullivan will confer degrees on an estimated 3,275 graduates, including 2,580 bachelors, 452 masters, 138 doctoral and 105 medical degree recipients. Among expected degree recipients are students from 43 states and 240 international students from 35 foreign countries. Approximately 1,026 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes an expected 345 students of color.

The University Commencement Main Ceremony, where the president will confer baccalaureate degrees, will take place on Sunday, May 19 on the University Green. The ceremony begins with a procession at 8:20 a.m. 

The Graduate College Commencement Ceremony, where master and doctoral students will be hooded and presented with their diploma, will take place on Saturday, May 18, in the Multipurpose Facility in the Athletic Complex at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are not required for this ceremony.

The Larner College of Medicine Commencement Ceremony, where graduates will take their professional oath, will take place on Sunday, May 19 in Ira Allen Chapel at 3 p.m. This ceremony is ticketed.

A recognition ceremony for Honors College Scholars will take place on Saturday, May 18 at 3:00 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel.

Individual college/school undergraduate ceremonies, where degree candidates will receive their diplomas, will take place throughout the day on Sunday, May 19. View the full Commencement weekend schedule.

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, will give the commencement address at the University Main Ceremony on May 19. One of the world’s most influential social justice philanthropies, the Ford Foundation focuses on addressing inequality in all forms: economic, social, and political. Respected across the nonprofit sector for his visionary leadership, Darren Walker is known for his expertise in partnership building, and for his focus on investing in human capital and engaging community activists as equal partners in advancing social change. Under Mr. Walker’s leadership, the Ford Foundation has oriented its focus solely toward addressing systemic inequality, advancing an agenda that creates equitable opportunities for every aspect of society and respects the commons in our trust. He will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Six honorary degrees will be awarded at the ceremony to Darren Walker, Suzanne Preston Blier, John Bramley, Jackson JW Clemmons, Michela Gallagher, and Marcelle Leahy. Learn more about these recipients.

Street closing information

The following street closings are planned in conjunction with Commencement: Beginning Friday, May 17, 7:00 a.m. through Sunday, May 19, 8:00 p.m., University Place will be closed from Colchester Avenue to Main Street. Beginning Friday, May 17, 7:00 p.m. through Sunday, May 19, 8:00 p.m. South Prospect Street will be closed from College Street to the University Health Center entrance. In addition, on Sunday, May 19, from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., South Prospect Street will be closed from Colchester Avenue to Main Street, and College Street will be closed from South Prospect Street to South Williams Street, and Westbound traffic on Main Street will also be restricted to one lane from the Davis Center to South Prospect Street.

Shuttle buses will run between ceremony sites and parking areas. A parking map is available on the Commencement 2019 website. Guests are encouraged to carpool when possible and take shuttles from hotels when provided. Parking on residential streets is prohibited. 

More information about commencement weekend is available on the Commencement 2019 website.


University Communications