Pomp and circumstance – and fun – on tap for Commencement 2013

Graduates, family and friends are invited to use the new Stanford Events app with a special Commencement Weekend tile to help make their way around campus to the many exciting events celebrating graduation.

The 122nd Commencement Ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday in Stanford Stadium with the traditional Wacky Walk, as graduates enjoy one last campus romp – holding signs, carrying props, wearing costumes – before taking their seats.

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, is the Commencement 2013 speaker. The Commencement ceremony is open to the public; no tickets are required for seating in the stands.

Recognizing that many family members and friends of graduates cannot make it to the Commencement ceremony, Stanford will offer a live video webcast of the event, beginning at 9:30 a.m. PDT on Sunday, June 16.

Commencement also will be broadcast live on KZSU, the student-run radio station, at 90.1 FM or on the web at kzsu.stanford.edu.

Twitter users can receive live tweets from Commencement via the Stanford live event feed, @StanfordNow, and enjoy highlights of those live tweets and moments from throughout the weekend on @Stanford. The hashtag for graduation is #stanford13.

For those who will be on campus, Stanford introduced the new Stanford Events app with a special Commencement Weekend tile. The free app includes:

  • A detailed timeline of all the major events, including departmental graduation ceremonies and receptions;
  • Directions for driving and parking to help friends and family find events;
  • Directions from a user's current location to each event using GPS.

"Graduation weekend is exhilarating and frenetic," said Balaji Prabhakar, the Stanford professor of electrical engineering and of computer science who developed the app. "For friends and family visiting campus, just knowing where to go and where to park can be quite tricky. The Stanford Events Commencement Weekend app should help them navigate campus and focus on the important events."

To encourage everyone to download and use the new app, Stanford is offering users the chance to win prizes – some specifically for graduating students, including a ride in a Google driverless car. Other prizes, including iPad Minis, are open to all.

Recordings of the main Commencement ceremony will be available on Stanford on iTunes U and the Stanford YouTube Channel following the event. A link to those recordings will be added to the Commencement homepage when they are available.

The university expects to grant 1,701 bachelor's degrees, 2,325 master's degrees and 1,055 doctoral degrees.

Baccalaureate and Class Day Lecture

Stanford's Commencement Weekend will feature a Baccalaureate address by alumna Valarie Kaur, an award-winning filmmaker, civil rights advocate and interfaith organizer. The Baccalaureate ceremony, which will take place Saturday in the Main Quad, begins at 9:30 a.m. and also will be broadcast live on KZSU.

The Baccalaureate is a multifaith celebratory gathering for graduating seniors, graduate students and professional students, as well as their families and friends. No tickets are required.

The student speaker at this year's Baccalaureate is Jonathan York, a senior graduating with a major in international relations and a minor in human biology. York was selected from among 43 students who submitted "student reflection" speeches to the Office for Religious Life.

The Class Day Lecture for graduates and their guests will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Maples Pavilion. This year's speaker is Mehran Sahami, an associate professor of computer science and a former Google research scientist.

In addition to being available on the Stanford Events app, a full schedule of Commencement Weekend activities is available on the Commencement website.