University to celebrate Spring Convocation on June 11

The University of Chicago is preparing for its 527th Convocation on Saturday, June 11.

The daylong celebration will begin with the University-wide Convocation ceremony starting at 9:15 a.m. in the Main Quadrangle. An estimated 15,000 family, friends and colleagues are anticipated.

The morning ceremony will include President Robert J. Zimmer conferring degrees to groups of students by academic program and degree type. Later in the day, the College and graduate divisions and schools will hold individual ceremonies in which diplomas will be presented. The University is scheduled to award a total of 3,467 degrees.

For those unable to attend, the morning Convocation and College diploma ceremonies will webcast live at Follow the day’s events on social media using #uchicago2016.

This year’s Convocation speaker is David Nirenberg, dean of Division of the Social Sciences and the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought. Nirenberg, whose field specialties include the Christians, Jews and Muslims of medieval Europe and medieval ideas about communication and social relations, has entitled his address “A Time of Mind.”

The University will award three honorary degrees: The recipients are Frances H. Arnold, a founding figure in the field of molecular engineering in biological systems; J. Patrick Olivelle, a scholar of Sanskrit and Pali literature and South Asian religions; and Andrew M. Alper, chairman of UChicago’s Board of Trustees from 2009 to 2015.

Additional honors include the Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service, which will be awarded to Harvard University Professor James Anderson; and the Jesse L. Rosenberger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts, which will be awarded to local artist Kerry James Marshall.

During the ceremonies held by the divisions and schools, the University will recognize faculty members and graduate students for excellence in teaching with presentations of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Wayne C. Booth Graduate Student Prizes for Excellence in Teaching, and Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring.

At the College diploma ceremony, the tradition of student speakers will continue with this year’s selection of Hannah Gitlin, Konje Machini and Kristopher Pittard.

The celebration continues UChicago’s long tradition of holding convocations to bring together the community to mark individual achievement and institutional continuity. A full schedule of events and details on transportation and parking can be found at Convocation shuttles can be tracked at

Certain streets will be closed for parts of Convocation weekend. Ellis Avenue from 57th Street to 59th Street will be closed from 5 p.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday. In addition, 57th Street from Ellis Avenue to University Avenue will be closed from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, along with University Avenue from 57th Street to 59th Street.

Please note that all bags are subject to inspection before entering the Main Quadrangle. Items that may disrupt other guests from seeing or hearing the ceremony are not permitted inside the Quadrangle.