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Commencement 2017

large group of graduates celebrating

The University recognizes its graduating students and their families, outstanding faculty and alumni, and special guests during commencement ceremonies held during the weekend of May 19-21.

PHOTO FRIDAY: Send us your commencement photos for the homepage

Share, follow: Find more on social at #UR2017




Commencement in photos

one student is carried by his friends

Arts, Sciences and Engineering

“It's only on the battlefield of change that a dream can be captured,” commencement speaker and federal judge Jimmie Reyna ’75 told the Class of 2017 as the graduates gathered for the 167th commencement ceremony on the Eastman Quadrangle. “You have an army of support marching behind you. And as of today, it's not just your parents. It's myself and everybody here and over there, your professors; the whole UR community is part of your support.”

See the Arts, Sciences and Engineering photo gallery >>>

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student is hugged while receiving her degree

Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences

“Now is the time for goal-setting and dreaming big,” advised Wendi Heinzelman during the May 21 diploma ceremony, her first as dean of the Hajim School for Engineering & Applied Sciences. Hajim graduates, she said, are uniquely positioned to make the world ever better. “For sure, the world needs more engineers to solve problems big and small for society.”

See the Hajim School photo gallery >>>

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row of graduates smiling

Eastman School of Music

“Each generation creates its own music. You are artists—and it is artists who help shape the world,” said President and CEO Joel Seligman during his welcome to the Eastman School of Music’s Class of 2017. At the May 21 commencement ceremony, more than 140 students received their bachelor of music degrees, and another 114 candidates received graduate degrees from the Eastman School.

See the Eastman School of Music photo gallery >>>

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graduate looking around outside Eastman Theatre

Doctoral Degrees

“You’ve achieved the pinnacle of academic accomplishment in your respective disciplines,” noted G. Robert Witmer Jr. ’58, chair emeritus of the University’s Board of Trustees, as he welcomed mare than 200 candidates for doctoral degrees. The May 20 ceremony recognizes candidates who reach the doctor of philosphy degree and candidates for degrees of doctor of musical arts, doctor of education, and doctor of nursing practice.

See the doctoral ceremony photo gallery >>>

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graduate cries as she is handed her diploma

Warner School of Education

Teaching is a “noble and critically important profession,” G. Robert Witmer Jr. ’58 tells the more than 200 graduates of the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development as they receive their doctoral and master’s degrees May 20.

See the Warner School of Education photo gallery >>>

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graduate holding his two children

School of Medicine and Dentistry

“Today we graduate physicians who will help lead seismic changes in the way health care is delivered and administered in this country,” said President and CEO Joel Seligman as he welcomed 100 students from the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The students received their MD degrees during the May 19 ceremony.

See the Medicine and Dentistry photo gallery >>>

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student crosses stage, clutching her diploma

School of Nursing

Two hundred and seventy-five new nurses received their degrees from the University of Rochester on Friday, May 19. During the ceremony, University President and CEO Joel Seligman told the candidates, “You are, in fact, the greatest generation. ... You are ready to commence on your journey.”

See the School of Nursing photo gallery >>>

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graduation cap decorated to read ON TO THE NEXT CHAPTER

Say it in ALL CAPS

One of the newer Senior Week traditions is cap decorating in Hirst Lounge. Stickers, glue, glitter and other crafty supplies are provided by Wilson Commons Student Activities; students add creativity, sentimentality, and humor to taste.

See the graduation cap photo gallery >>>



More from the Class of 2017

commencement program surrounded by confetti

Dear Class of 2017...

The last time our entire class came together was in August of our freshman year for convocation. Now, four years later, we will all come together one last time in May for our commencement.

Read a message from the Senior Class Council >>>

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commencement program surrounded by confetti

Counting up commencement

It takes a lot of preparation to get ready to confer 1,320 degrees. And a lot of coffee. Here are some ways the campus prepares.

By the numbers >>>

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map of the world

Mapping the Class of 2017

More than 1,300 undergraduates in the College will receive degrees during commencement ceremonies. Here's a snapshot of where the students in the graduating class call home when they're not in Rochester.

Go to the map >>>

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composite image of historic and modern commencement ceremonies

Think you have the University’s commencement traditions down pat?

A university can acquire (and abandon) a lot of traditions over 150-plus years. “Tradition guru” University archivist Melissa Mead takes us on a little tour of some of our quirky graduation traditions—then and now.

Listen to the QuadCast podcast >>>

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graduate hugging her mom

Graduates honor parents, family

Members of the Class of 2017 pen messages to thank their loved ones for their support.

Read graduates messages >>>

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student carrying a hula hoop into dorm room

Senior scrapbook

They arrived in the fall of 2013 and soon will take their leave as members of the University of Rochester graduating Class of 2017. Here is a collection of photos of the Class of 2017 throughout the years, including a video from their very first day on campus.

A look back at the Class of 2017 through the years >>>

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students stand around giant word MELIORA on quad

2016-17: The Year in Review

Take a look back in pictures at the year that was.

Watch the video >>>

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group portrait of five students

Meet the Class of 2017: Making their mark

Meet five members of the graduating class who are ready to make their communities—and our world—ever better.

Meet the Class of 2017 >>

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sprinter running on indoor track

Meet the Class of 2017: A sprinter’s marathon

Yellowjacket athlete Laura Lockard ’17 returned this spring for her final season as a key member of the track and field team. A fateful discovery during a voluntary study nearly knocked her off her stride, but Lockard, a microbiology major from Sayre, Pennselvania, was determined to “make the best of everything” in her life.

Read more >>>

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portrait of two students standing on an atrium landing

Meet the Class of 2017: Sisters overcome poverty, prejudice to become first-generation graduates

Egyptian sisters Yasmin and Ayaa Elgoharry will each graduate from the Warner School with master’s degrees in education leadership, becoming the first in their family to earn college degrees.

Read more >>>

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woman on a chair on stage

Meet the Class of 2017: Rochester’s first dance major choreographs her story

Starting in fall of 2016, when Program of Dance and Movement began to offer a major in dance, Caitlyn Borden Gilmore ’17 was quick to sign up. "When I came to the University, I was able to explore this creative side that I had previously left untouched," she says.

Read more >>>

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Jimmie Reyna

Federal Circuit Court Judge Jimmie Reyna ’75 to deliver 2017 Commencement address

The University of Rochester will recognize the outstanding contributions of distinguished leaders, scholars, and humanitarians by bestowing 2017 honorary degrees, medals, and awards for scholarship and teaching.

Read more >>>

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administrator in academic regalia carrying the mace at the head of the commencement processional

2017 Commencement honorary degree, award recipients announced

The University of Rochester will recognize the outstanding contributions of distinguished leaders, scholars, and humanitarians by bestowing 2017 honorary degrees, medals, and awards for scholarship and teaching.

Read more >>>