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Updated 9:00 AM April 15, 2009

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Campuses, units celebrate Spring Commencement 2009

Google co-founder and 1995 U-M graduate Larry Page will address undergraduates during Spring Commencement.

The annual ceremonies return to Michigan Stadium, the traditional commencement setting, after last year's commencement on the Diag due to stadium construction.

Spring Commencement

Commencement is at 10 a.m. May 2 in Michigan Stadium. The university will award undergraduate degrees and confer honorary degrees at the event. Beginning at 8 a.m., graduates are to assemble near Michigan Stadium to be organized for their procession into Michigan Stadium at 9 a.m. Spring Commencement will be broadcast live on the Michigan Channel (Comcast cable TV channel 22) in the greater Ann Arbor area beginning at 10 a.m. A Web link to live streaming video of Spring Commencement will be available at


Page, the main speaker during Spring Commencement, will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree. A native of East Lansing and son of one of the university's earliest computer science graduates, Page developed the PageRank algorithm with his partner Sergey Brin in the late 1990s. In 2004 they launched Google Books, an ambitious plan to boost access to the world's libraries, including U-M's massive library collection.


Michigan Stadium opens at 8 a.m. Families and guests may enter through the Champions, Varsity, Alumni and Wolverine plazas and Gate 9. All family members and guests attending Spring Commencement, including children older than 2 years, need a ticket to enter Michigan Stadium. All tickets are marked with section, row and seat numbers. All guests should be seated prior to 9 a.m., when the graduate procession begins.

Inclement weather plan

Spring Commencement is scheduled to take place in Michigan Stadium rain or shine. The ceremony may be shortened, suspended, or concluded in the event of severe weather. If a schedule adjustment is required due to severe weather, instructions will be given to guests via public address announcements and video screen scoreboard messages. Graduates and guests are asked to listen for announcements and remain seated until instructed. Umbrellas are not permitted inside the stadium.


Spring Commencement guests and graduates strongly are encouraged to use complimentary shuttle bus service for travel to and from Michigan Stadium to avoid traffic and parking congestion. Shuttle buses will service local hotels and university lots; they are wheelchair accessible. Shuttles run approximately every 20 minutes from 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Shuttles depart Michigan Stadium regularly for 60 minutes after the end of the ceremony. Complimentary parking will be available at Crisler Arena. Parking also will be available at nearby Pioneer High School for $5. To avoid a parking violation, observe all posted notices and regulations.

Graduate Exercises

University Graduate Exercises are at 1 p.m. May 1 at Hill Auditorium. This is the commencement ceremony for all master's and doctoral graduates and candidates who receive their degrees through the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. This program recognizes doctoral degree recipients individually. The speaker is Michael Posner, the world-renowned psychologist often credited with originating the field of cognitive neuroscience. He also will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree at Spring Commencement.

Assembly for graduates and candidates

Graduates and candidates participating in University Graduate Exercises gather in Rackham Auditorium on May 1, beginning at 11:45 a.m. and arriving no later than 12:15 p.m., to participate in the academic procession to Hill Auditorium. Faculty marshals assist graduates and candidates in assembling for the procession. Doctoral degree recipients gather in a designated area within Rackham Auditorium. They receive their name cards and are arranged in alphabetical order, by degree earned, to ensure the correct order for diploma distribution during the ceremony.

More celebrations and ceremonies

Thursday, April 30

Lavender Graduation, 4:30 p.m., Michigan Union Pendleton Room, 763-4186

School of Public Health, 5:30 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 214-6430

Friday, May 1

Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, 9 a.m., Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 764-1498

Tri-Service ROTC Commissioning, 11 a.m., Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 764-2043

University Graduate Exercises, 1 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 647-6037

School of Information, 4 p.m., Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 763-2285

School of Music, Theatre & Dance, 4 p.m., Power Center, 764-0594

Stephen M. Ross School of Business, 5 p.m., Crisler Arena, 763-5775

La Celebracion Latina, 8 p.m., Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 936-0664

School of Kinesiology, 8 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 764-4472

Native American graduation, 6 p.m., Trotter Multicultural Center

Saturday, May 2

School of Nursing, 12:30 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 763-5985

School of Social Work, 1 p.m., Power Center for the Performing Arts, 647-2541

School of Art & Design, 1 p.m., Art & Architecture Building courtyard, 647-9886

School of Natural Resources and Environment, 1:30 p.m., Rackham Auditorium, 615-4332

Residential College, 2 p.m., Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 763-0176

College of Engineering, 3 p.m., Crisler Arena, 647-7046

School of Education, 4 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 763-4061

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, 5:30 p.m., Rackham Auditorium, 615-3893

Black Celebratory, 7:30 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 936-0664

Sunday, May 3

UM-Dearborn Commencement, 10:30 a.m., College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, with speaker Ismael Ahmed, director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., will speak at the 2:30 p.m. commencement for the School of Management; College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters; and School of Education (both ceremonies are at the Field House), 313-393-5330

A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, 1 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 764-1340

UM-Flint Commencement, 2:30 p.m., Perani Arena and Event Center, with former Michigan speaker of the House of Representatives Bobby Crim, 810-762-3177.

Friday, May 8

School of Dentistry, 1 p.m., Hill Auditorium. The speaker will be Dr. Sandro Galea, director of the Center for Global Health Research and professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, and research professor at the Institute for Social Research, 647-4026

U-M Medical School, 5 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 936-3697

Saturday, May 9

Law School, 2 p.m., Hill Auditorium, 615-4501

Saturday, May 30

College of Pharmacy, 2 p.m., Rackham Auditorium, 764-7144

This story was compiled from information presented on the university's Spring Commencement Web page and from information submitted to The University Record by individual units. For more information and/or updates on graduation activities, go to the Graduate's Guide to Commencement at

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