Video Feature: Class of 2015 Commencements

Highlights from the commencement ceremony for the College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester, held on May 17, 2015. Graduates gathered in Eastman Quadrangle with their families, friends and the faculty and administration of the University to celebrate the 165th commencement in the University’s history. The speaker for the occasion was Deborah Bial, Founder and President of The Posse Foundation.

Highlights from the commencement ceremony for the Eastman School of Music, held on May 17, 2015 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. The speaker for the occasion was Paul Burgett ’68E, ’72E (MA), ’76E (PhD), Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President at the University of Rochester, and former Dean of Students at Eastman.


Congrats, Grads!

The Buzz wishes all the members of the Class of 2014 the best of luck as they head into the world!

With three days of ceremonies, activities, and special events marking commencement season, the University recognized graduating students and their families, honored faculty for their teaching, and celebrated the achievements of alumni and other honorees.

Catch all the commencement fun by visiting!


OMSA: Celebrating Student Achievement for 40 Years

During the 1981-82 academic year,  the newly established Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) was created to provide proactive advising support, initiate programs and serve as a liaison with other departments and divisions of the university to enhance the environment in which minority students at Rochester live and learn.

In 1973, OMSA started a tradition of inviting the graduating seniors that they served along with their families to a dinner on commencement weekend to celebrate their achievements. This tradition has continued, growing each and every year to include more students and families, as well as the broader university community. It has become one of the highlights of the weekend for those involved and it embodies the university’s commitment to support and encourage an increasingly diverse campus community.

During the 2013 dinner, OMSA presented awards to the following seniors: Oladoyin Oladeru, The Francis Price Student Leadership Award; Maxine Humphrey, The Frederick Jefferson Award for Outstanding Student Achievement; Marius Kothor, The Olivia Hooker Academic Achievement Award; Ani Nguyen & Olufemi Watson, The Kesha Atkins Citation for Student Leadership; Adrian Elim, Edward Chafart Award for Civic Engagement. Additionally, the Family Pillar Award, which honors family members of a graduating senior, was given to Marius Kothor’s parents.

A new video shares the history of the OMSA and its senior awards dinner:

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

Congratulations to the more than 2,300 students who received degrees as part of this spring’s commencement ceremonies. In the words of Arts, Sciences & Engineering commencement speaker and former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu ’70, “Take some chances and do something that matters.” Meliora! Check out more pictures and video from the ceremony here!

U of R Grad Gowns ‘GO Green’

University Introduces Cap and Gown Made of Recycled Plastic Bottles

Univ. Communications – University of Rochester students graduating this May will be dressed in plastic bottles, but you probably won’t notice. The caps and gowns that bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates will be wearing are made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

The fabric used to make these gowns is spun from molten plastic pellets. It takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown. That means that with more than 1,500 gowns sold at the University’s bookstores each graduation season, 34,500 bottles will be repurposed to create the regalia.

This shift to the environmentally friendly regalia was a joint decision made by the conference and events office and the bookstores.

“We feel these gowns fit in with the University’s ‘green’ mission,” said Erica Strawbridge, conference coordinator for conference and events. “We think the students will appreciate this change.”

“We consistently hear from students that they prefer eco-friendly products. We’re very excited to be introducing these gowns,” said Maria Ferrante, general manager of the bookstores. “Not only are they better for the environment, but the fabric actually feels softer and more comfortable than what we’ve used for previous commencement ceremonies.”

Other features of the regalia include:

• Size labels stamped with soy ink.

• The plastic bags used to store the caps and gowns are made from recycled plastic.

• The shipping cartons are produced from recycled cardboard.

• If students don’t want to keep their gowns after commencement, they can drop them off at the bookstore to be recycled into new fabric.

• They are softer to the touch and more breathable than traditional polyester fabric.

The gowns are made by Oak Hall Cap & Gown and are virtually indistinguishable in color and fit from the traditional polyester material. They will be available for purchase at the campus bookstores from March 25th through commencement.