University to celebrate Class of 2014 during Spring Convocation

Mary Abowd
News Officer for Arts & HumanitiesUniversity Communications

The UChicago community will gather on Saturday, June 14 to honor the accomplishments of its degree candidates during the University’s 519th Convocation.

More than 17,000 family, friends and colleagues will celebrate as President Robert J. Zimmer confers degrees on graduating students on the Main Quadrangle. In all, 1,261 undergraduate and 2,091 graduate degrees will be conferred.

The Convocation speaker will be Kerwin Charles, the Edwin and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor at Chicago Harris and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. An applied microeconomist, Charles will discuss some of his research on conspicuous consumption, among other things, in his address, titled “Type and Context.”

At ceremonies for the divisions and schools, faculty and deans will recognize the degree candidates individually and present them with diplomas or hoods.

For the College diploma ceremony, fourth-years Sam Levine, Katherine Burkhart and Aerik Francis will continue the long tradition of featuring speakers from the graduating class, each delivering a brief address about their UChicago experience.

President Zimmer will confer seven honorary degrees at the main Convocation ceremony on people who have made extraordinary contributions to their respective fields: astronomer Wendy L. Freedman, microbial geneticist Jeffrey I. Gordon, philologist-linguist John Huehnergard, paleontologist Andrew H. Knoll, mathematician Grigoriy Margulis, linguist-philosopher Barbara H. Partee and statistician-geneticist Terence Speed.

Zimmer also will present the Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service to jurist and public servant Abner Mikva, JD’51, and the Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal to choral director and arts leader Josephine Lee.

The weekend’s events include recognition of faculty members and graduate students who have been honored as excellent teachers. The Quantrell Awards, Booth Prizes and Graduate Teaching Awards pay tribute to excellence in teaching at various levels, and are awarded at the ceremonies of the divisions and schools.

The morning Convocation exercises and the College diploma ceremony in the afternoon will be webcast for guests who are unable to attend. A full schedule of events, including ceremonies and receptions, is on the Convocation website.

Important traffic notice

Visitors to campus are encouraged to use public transportation, since the campus will be crowded and parking options limited. Please allow extra time if you plan to park nearby. The University will provide shuttle service for visitors staying outside of Hyde Park, coming on the Metra or parking near the Midway. The pickup locations and schedules are on a shuttle map on the Convocation website.

Part of the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) will be closed during Convocation weekend for a bridge demolition. Guests traveling by car should avoid congestion on I-90/94 by planning an alternate route and budgeting extra travel time. More information on the closure is available here.

The UChicago community is invited to congratulate this year’s graduates and share Convocation news and photos on Twitter with the hashtag #UChiGrad14.

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