University to award most-ever degrees through four Spring Commencement ceremonies

The University of Nevada, Reno will break the 100,000-degree mark during Spring 2017 Commencement Ceremonies May 18, 19 and 20

This Spring Commencement the University will confer 2,808 degrees.


5/15/2017 | By: Nicole Shearer |

The University of Nevada, Reno's 2017 Spring Commencement will confer 2,808 degrees. The commencement exercises will take place over four ceremonies in three days - Thursday, May 18; Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 - and will be on the University's historic Quad, located on the southern part of campus. Each ceremony focuses on particular colleges. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees for each of those colleges are granted at each ceremony.

  • 5 p.m. Thursday, May 18: College of Engineering, Orvis School of Nursing and College of Science
  • 8 a.m. Friday, May 19: College of Business and the Division of Health Sciences
  • 5 p.m. Friday, May 19: College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources and the College of Education
  • 8 a.m. Saturday, May 20: College of Liberal Arts and the Reynolds School of Journalism

Students receiving dual degrees may participate in more than one ceremony.

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The Herz Gold Medal for Outstanding Scholarship will be awarded to Anita Savell, electrical engineering major, during Thursday afternoon's ceremony. Friday afternoon, Mick Hitchcock will be honored with an Honorary Degree recognizing his significant and long-time contributions to the University, and alumna Mary O. Simmons will be awarded the President's Medal, which was introduced at the inauguration of President Joseph Crowley in 1979. Also, on Friday afternoon, Donald Carano and Tyrus W. Cobb will be honored as Distinguished Nevadans. The Distinguished Nevadan represents the most prestigious award conferred by the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Commencement set-up is well underway! Are you attending one of our four ceremonies this week? Tag your grad below! #PackPride

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During the University's Commencement ceremonies this year, 2,278 bachelor degrees, 469 advanced-degree certificates (master's and doctoral degrees) and 61 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine degrees will be awarded. The University awarded 2,649 total degrees last spring and has seen a 50-percent increase in degrees conferred since 2010 due to increased enrollment and improved graduation rates.

Free public parking is available in the West Stadium Parking Complex and the Blue and Green surface lots. Shuttles will be available two hours before each ceremony. The Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex will be available for handicap parking. Due to construction on North Virginia Street and the increased traffic seen around Commencement ceremonies, the public is strongly encouraged to allow extra time and arrive early.

The Nevada Wolf Shop inside the Joe Crowley Student Union will be open from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 18, and Friday, May 19, and from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday, May 20.

Several special programs on campus surround the University of Nevada, Reno's 2017 Spring Commencement:

  • Cultural graduate celebrations honor the diversity of students. Organized through The Center, Every Student. Every Story, these celebrations recognize the cultures students brought with them to the University and shared during their time on campus.
  • Honor the Best recognizes top students, faculty and staff. The award ceremony will be 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, in the Joe Crowley Student Union's Milt Glick Ballroom.
  • The Senior Scholars Banquet recognizes outstanding seniors and their faculty mentors at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at the Joe Crowley Student Union, Ballroom C.
  • The Orvis School of Nursing Convocation, at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 18, in the Joe Crowley Student Union's Milt Glick Ballroom, is a pinning/hooding and awards ceremony for undergraduate, masters and doctorate of nursing practice nursing students.
  • The School of Social Work Convocation is at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in the Joe Crowley Student Union's Milt Glick Ballroom.
  • The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Academic Hooding Ceremony is at 1 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Lawlor Events Center. The media contact for this event is Anne McMillin, 775-682-9254.

View a complete list of commencement-related celebrations and ceremonies.

A mobile-friendly live-stream of all four ceremonies will be available at Closed captioning on mobile devices and for the hearing impaired will also be available and can be accessed through a QR code provided at the event.

New this year, the University's commencement ceremony will feature two 20-foot-wide by 10-foot-tall screens, flanking both sides of the stage. The purpose of the screens is twofold; give more people the ability to better see what is taking place and provide closed captions of the event to better serve attendees.

University graduates and their families are encouraged to join the commencement conversations online by using the hashtag #PackPride.

For additional information, including parking maps and directions, please visit


For more news on the University of Nevada, Reno, follow @unevadareno on Twitter.

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