Two Commencement ceremonies, one big weekend planned
BY MICHAEL PEÑA
This weekend marks Stanford's 115th Commencement, with the university awarding 1,831 bachelor's degrees, 2,150 master's degrees and 1,026 doctoral degrees. Due to the temporary closure of Stanford Stadium for renovation, there will be two Commencement ceremonies held, both on Elliott Field. Tickets will be required for both events.
The ceremony for awarding advanced degrees will be on Saturday, and the ceremony for this year's senior class will be on Sunday. The procession onto the field for both commencements will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the ceremonies formally getting under way at 10 a.m. Gates will open at 8 a.m.
Approximately 1,000 students and 50 faculty members and administrative officials are expected to participate in Saturday's ceremony. Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and former president of the New York Public Library and Brown University, will deliver the keynote address. Stanford Events is estimating an audience of about 8,000 guests on Saturday.
On Sunday, more than 1,700 students and about 100 faculty members, administrators and public officials are expected to take part in the undergraduate Commencement. The morning kicks off with the students' "Wacky Walk" onto the field. Renowned journalist and author Tom Brokaw will deliver the keynote talk, and an audience of about 20,000 people is expected to attend, according to Elaine Enos, executive director of Stanford Events.
Additional seating to accommodate overflow and those with disabilities or other issues will be available on both days in Maples Pavilion, which is adjacent to Elliott Field (also known as the football practice field). A live video broadcast will be shown inside Maples; and KZSU, the student-run radio station, will broadcast both ceremonies on 90.1 FM.
The most up-to-date figures show that 392 seniors will graduate with departmental honors, 285 with university distinction, 145 with multiple majors, 445 with completed minors, 71 with dual bachelor's degrees and 162 with combined bachelor's and master's degrees. Of the 1,778 students receiving bachelor's degrees, 909 are male and 869 are female, according to Paddy McGowan, associate registrar and director of institutional research.
Among international students, there are 99 undergraduates from 37 different countries and 943 graduate students from 79 different nations. All the counts are preliminary and some may change, McGowan said.
Saturday's events begin at 9 a.m. with the traditional carillon performance from Hoover Tower by Timothy Zerlang. The Multifaith Baccalaureate Celebration begins at 9:30 a.m. at the North Portal of the Inner Quad. The student-led event, under the auspices of the Office for Religious Life, will feature the newly appointed Catholic archbishop for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Most Rev. George Niederauer, as its keynote speaker. Marley Cade Kornreich will deliver the Baccalaureate student address. Tickets are not required for this event.
At 10:30 a.m., the senior class plaque will be dedicated in the southwest corner of the Inner Quad.
Saturday's Class Day lecture starts at 11:30 a.m. on Angell Field. Coit "Chip" Blacker, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, will deliver the keynote address. The lecture will be followed by a graduation picnic from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Masters Grove and on the IM South Field. The lecture and picnic are sponsored by the Stanford Alumni Association; tickets are required.
From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, President John Hennessy and his wife, Andrea, will host a reception for graduates and their families, faculty and alumni in the Hoover House gardens. For a complete listing of other midday and afternoon activities, go to http://commencement.stanford.edu/schedule/index.html.
Although the main ceremonies begin early, attendees should be prepared for warm weather. Light clothing, hats, visors, sunblock and drinking water are suggested. Water will be available in the Main Quad for the Baccalaureate Celebration and at Elliott Field for the Commencement ceremonies.
As a safety precaution, all bags may be subject to search. Prohibited items include alcohol; large items, such as banners and umbrellas; and amplification equipment, such as bullhorns. No strollers will be allowed into the seating areas on the field, but a stroller check will be available near the entrance.
Graduates will be awarded diplomas during their individual school and department ceremonies at various locations on campus. Most are scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and reservations may be required to attend some of these ceremonies.
For more information, go to the Commencement website, at http://commencement.stanford.edu/.