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Commencement countdown

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock

The largest Cornell event in the lives of some 5,500 students will take place May 27, when the university holds its 150th Commencement for undergraduate, graduate and professional students. It is also the largest annual Cornell event for the faculty, administrators and trustees who process with them, the 35,000 friends and family who come out to watch, and the several hundred volunteers who cheer them on while ensuring all goes smoothly. 

For several weeks in advance – and for the Commencement Office, year-round – Commencement, the Convocation that precedes it on May 26 and nearly 100 related events throughout Graduation Weekend define the work-lives of event planners and staff from Facilities and Campus Services and from Student and Campus Life. 

From the care of university grounds to laying out plastic flooring and setting up chairs on Schoellkopf Field, Commencement seemingly “goes off more or less without a hitch,” notes the May 2018 Cornell Alumni Magazine article, “Pomp and Circumstances,” discussing the weekend’s history, traditions and behind-the-scenes logistics.