Thousands of parents, family and friends are expected to attend the university's 109th Commencement on June 11, which caps a busy weekend of formal and festive events.
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General since 1997, will deliver the Commencement address during the official ceremony starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday in the stadium. Before this, at 9:30 a.m., jubilant students, dressed in "almost-anything-goes" attire and performing a range of stunts, will march into the arena during the zany and informal "Wacky Walk." In previous years, students have barbecued hot dogs and kicked a flaming soccer ball, among other activities.
Commencement weekend events kick off June 9 with a Phi Beta Kappa initiation at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium. Also that evening, an organ recital featuring interim university organist Robert Huw Morgan will take place at 8 p.m. in Memorial Church.
At 9:30 a.m. June 10, Theophus "Thee" Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University, will speak during the Baccalaureate Celebration in the Inner Quad. The dedication of the Senior Class Plaque will be held in the same area at 10:30 that morning. This will be followed by the Class Day luncheon for seniors and their families at the Bowman Alumni House at 11 a.m. President Gerhard Casper will be the featured speaker and Reiko Osaki, one of the four senior class presidents, also will talk during the two-hour luncheon program.
Casper and his wife, Regina, will host a reception that afternoon for graduates and their families, faculty and alumni from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the gardens of the president's house at 623 Mirada Ave. A shuttle service from Tresidder Memorial Union to the house will be provided, as no parking is available. Also on Saturday, two Masses will be held in Memorial Church, and several ethnic and academic groups will host celebrations. That evening at 8:30 p.m., a "Night Before" party with a dance and reception for all seniors and their families will be held on the back patio of Tresidder.
Following Commencement on Sunday,
graduates will receive their diplomas at individual school and
department ceremonies at various locations on campus.