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November 04, 2015

Commencement weekend to include new master’s degree ceremony

crowded concert hall
A master’s degree ceremony for students in Arts, Sciences & Engineering and the School of Medicine and Dentistry will be held in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

Beginning with the University’s May 2016 Commencement, there will be a ceremony to recognize and confer master’s degrees from Arts, Sciences & Engineering and the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The combined master’s degree ceremony will take place at noon on Saturday, May 14, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre and will give master’s graduates from October, March, and May an opportunity to walk across the stage and individually celebrate their academic achievement.

Up to this point, AS&E master’s degree candidates have not had a dedicated ceremony in their honor. Their degrees were conferred with bachelor’s degrees as part of the AS&E Sunday ceremony on Eastman Quad. Wendi Heinzelman, dean of graduate studies, worked with the Commencement Office to institute the new tradition for master’s degree recognition jointly with the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

“Arts, Sciences & Engineering is expanding its master’s programs, both in terms of class sizes as well as range of both disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs,”  Heinzelman says. “These professional degree programs enable our graduates to deepen their knowledge of a given area, providing them with important credentials to launch their careers.  We wanted to recognize and celebrate the hard work of these students through a dedicated master’s degree commencement ceremony.  The School of Medicine and Dentistry has had its own master’s degree ceremony for a number of years, and we thought it would be nice to join forces to celebrate the accomplishments of both schools’ master’s degree candidates.”

“The School of Medicine and Dentistry’s master’s degree ceremony has been a lovely ceremony honoring our students,” says Edith Lord, senior associate dean for graduate education and postdoctoral affairs at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We are delighted to have the ceremony expanded to include students from AS&E.  It will allow us to honor the achievements of master’s students from both schools.”

With this new addition to the Commencement Weekend schedule, there will be some slight changes in times of other Commencement and diploma ceremonies. The Commencement Office will provide an updated schedule of events as the date nears. Commencement information can be found at  

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