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Need to Know: Rochester’s 169th Commencement

May 16, 2019
large crowd of graduates celebrating

On Sunday, May 19, more than 4,000 friends and family members will join 1,500 members of the College Class of 2019 outside on Eastman Quad, River Campus for the 169th AS&E Commencement ceremony. The ceremony starts at 9 a.m. and concludes around 10:15 a.m., at which point graduates proceed to their academic department ceremonies to receive their bachelor’s diplomas.

The keynote speaker this year is Donna Strickland ’89 (PhD), professor of physics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and pioneer in the field of pulsed lasers. In October 2018, Strickland became the third woman ever to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics, and the first woman laureate in University of Rochester history. At the College ceremony, Strickland will be presented the University’s George Eastman Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievement and dedicated service.

She will also speak at the University’s doctoral ceremony on Saturday, May 18 where she will receive the Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award, which recognizes doctoral alumni who have led distinguished careers in academia, private enterprise, public service and the arts.

The Eastman School of Music Commencement ceremony will be held at 11:15 a.m., Sunday, May 19, in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre in downtown Rochester. Acclaimed soprano Julia Bullock ’09E, the 2018–19 artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will give the commencement address.  As the artist-in-residence at the Met, she has helped organize a series of programs designed to explore not only the artistry of music, but also ideas of identity, objectification and history.


The AS&E ceremony, Eastman School of Music ceremony, and the doctoral ceremony will all be streamed live:

Commencement App

Up-to-date information about Commencement weekend can be found through the URMobile app (download it free app at, or by searching “URMobile” in your phone’s app store.) At the top of the URMobile app is a special Commencement section, which includes event details, shuttle arrival times, and translations

Parking and transportation

Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre: Parking for the Friday and Saturday Commencement ceremonies is available for a fee in the East End Garage on East Main Street between Swan and Scio streets, or in the Allpro Parking Lot on the corner of Gibbs and East Main streets.

College Commencement at River Campus: Free parking will be available Friday and Saturday in all River Campus lots. Parking on Sunday will be in Park Lot, Intercampus Drive Lot, and Crittenden Lot 1. Continuous shuttle service will be provided for all guests parking in these lots. Parking staff will be available in all lots to assist. Guests who need more assistance because of physical limitations or disabilities may be dropped off at the Meliora Lot with golf cart service to the Eastman Quadrangle. Golf cart service is provided as a convenience to all guests on a first come, first served basis. Handicapped parking will be available in the Library Lot for vehicles with an authorized handicapped parking permit.

For more information, And celebrate Commencement on social media using the hashtag #UR2019.

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Category: Campus Announcements

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