University of Chicago to celebrate Convocation Weekend June 8-9

The University of Chicago is preparing to celebrate Convocation Weekend on June 8 and 9.

The weekend kicks off with Class Day, a celebration that includes an invited speaker, the presentation of College awards, and speeches by students from the Class of 2018. The event will be held Friday, June 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Main Quadrangles.

The University-wide Convocation ceremony will be held Saturday, June 9 from 9:15 to 11 a.m. also in the Main Quadrangles. Later in the day, the College and graduate divisions and schools will hold individual ceremonies in which diplomas will be presented.

Convocation represents a calling together of the entire University, with graduating students, faculty and staff from the College and graduate divisions and schools gathering to recognize educational achievement.

For those unable to attend, the Class Day and Convocation ceremonies will be webcast. Follow the weekend’s events on social media using #uchicago2018.

The invited speaker for Class Day is Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Obama and a distinguished senior fellow at UChicago Law School. She will address the College’s graduating students and their families about the responsibilities of global citizenship.

Student speakers for Class Day are Priscilla Daboni, Mark Meyer and Andrea Popov. The ceremony is open to family and friends of graduating students as well as the larger UChicago community.

On Saturday, Convocation will begin with a procession of undergraduate and graduate candidates into the Main Quadrangles. President Robert J. Zimmer will verbally confer degrees to candidates by division and school during the ceremony. The University is scheduled to award a total of 3,243 degrees.

This year’s Convocation speaker is Marianne Bertrand, the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth. Bertrand is an applied microeconomist whose research covers the fields of labor economics, corporate finance, political economy and development economics. Her address is entitled “Mind the Gaps.”

Awards and medals

On Saturday, the University will award honorary degrees to Fabiola Gianotti, an experimental particle physicist who led the search and characterization of the Higgs boson; Charles M. Lieber, a groundbreaking scholar of nanoscience and nanomaterials; Michael C.A. Macdonald, a leading expert in early language and civilization in the Arabian Peninsula; Robert E. Ricklefs, a leading figure in evolutionary ecology; and William S-Y. Wang, a pioneer in the study of language evolution and the emergence of new languages.

Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, will receive the Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service, which recognizes people who have rendered distinguished public service in the field of education, including anyone who has contributed in a systematic and distinguished way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge.

The University will recognize faculty members for excellence in teaching with presentations of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate TeachingFaculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring and the Norman Maclean Faculty Award.

Event logistics

Information about the weekend’s events, as well as details on transportation, parking and accommodations can be found on the Convocation website. Convocation shuttles can be tracked at Attendees and community members are advised that there will be increased traffic and road closures during this time.

Tickets are not required for the main ceremonies, although they may be required for individual division and school ceremonies. General seating for Convocation will open at 7 a.m. and is available on a first-come basis.

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