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

Spring 2019 Commencement ceremonies May 16, 17 and 18

This year, the University of Nevada, Reno will confer 3,201 degrees.

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5/13/2019 | By: Nicole Shearer |

May 15 Update: Due to inclement weather conditions, all Commencement ceremonies have been moved to Lawlor Events Center. Public entrances will be located at sections 4 and 22. Graduates, Faculty, the Platform Party and special guests are to enter through the Ticket Office on the first floor. All ceremony times remain the same. Please check the University website at www.unr.edu for Commencement information.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s 129th Commencement will confer 3,201 degrees, the largest amount of degrees conferred in one semester. The Commencement exercises will take place over four ceremonies in three days – Thursday, May 16; Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 – and will be on the University’s historic Quad, located on the southern part of campus. Each ceremony focuses on particular colleges, and both undergraduate and graduate degrees for each of those colleges will be granted.

  • 4:45 p.m. Thursday, May 16: Reynolds School of Journalism, College of Liberal Arts and Orvis School of Nursing
  • 8 a.m. Friday, May 17: College of Business, Division of Health Sciences (Social Work) and School of Medicine (Speech Pathology)
  • 4:45 p.m. Friday, May 17: College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, School of Community Health Sciences and College of Education
  • 8 a.m. Saturday, May 18: College of Engineering and College of Science

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

During the University’s Commencement ceremonies this year, 2,587 bachelor degrees, 551 advanced degrees (master’s and doctoral degrees) and 63 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine degrees will be awarded. The University awarded 3,137 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 Green surface lots on the north end of campus. Shuttles will be available two hours before each ceremony. Level three of the West Stadium Parking Complex will be available for ADA accessible parking, with shuttles running starting at 5:30 a.m. for morning ceremonies and 2:30 p.m. for afternoon ceremonies. Return shuttles will also be provided. A ridesharing drop-off for Uber and Lyft will be available at the corner of Ninth and Center Streets. Due to increased traffic seen around Commencement ceremonies, the public is strongly encouraged to allow extra time and arrive early.

Guest seating for the morning events will open at 6:30 a.m. and will open at 3:15 p.m. for the afternoon events. Additionally, guests are kindly asked to leave balloons, signage and coolers at home so as not to obstruct the view or pathways of others. In case of inclement weather, the ceremonies will be held in Lawlor Events Center. 

The Nevada Wolf Shop inside the Joe Crowley Student Union will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday, May 17 and from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18. In addition, during the ceremonies, a satellite location with gifts and floral will be located in front of the Thompson Building across from the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center. The Nevada Wolf Shop in Great Basin Hall will also be open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, 17 and from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Both Nevada Wolf Shop locations will be accepting gown returns.

Several special programs on campus surround the University of Nevada, Reno’s 2019 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.
    • Lavender Graduate Celebration
    • North African & Middle Eastern Graduate Celebration
    • American Indian & Alaska Native Graduate Celebration
    • Latinx Graduate Celebration
    • Asian American & Pacific Islander Graduate Celebration
    • Office of International Students and Scholars Graduation Celebration
    • African Diaspora Graduate Celebration
  • Honor the Best recognizes top students, faculty and staff. The award ceremony will be from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, 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 15, at the Joe Crowley Student Union, Ballroom C.
  • The Orvis School of Nursing Convocation, at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16, 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 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Academic Hooding Ceremony is at 1 p.m. Friday, May 17, at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. The media contact for this event is Tessa Bowen, 775-682-9254.

View additional Commencement-related celebrations and ceremonies.

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

The University’s Commencement ceremonies will again 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.

New this year, the University will be providing graduates with an inaugural pin, voted on by graduates from four different designs. 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 unr.edu/commencement.

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