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President Pollack, Ava DuVernay highlight Cornell’s 150th Commencement

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson


Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack’s Commencement address and film director Ava DuVernay’s Senior Convocation address highlight Cornell’s 150th Commencement Weekend. 


Saturday, May 26, noon to 1p.m.
Sunday, May 27, 10 a.m. to noon. 


Schoellkopf Stadium, Ithaca Campus


Media members must RSVP to Jeff Tyson in Cornell’s Media Relations Office at 607-255-7701 or by Thursday, May 24 at 3 p.m. in order to receive media credentials for admittance to the event. 

ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack’s Commencement address and film director Ava DuVernay’s Senior Convocation address will highlight Cornell’s 150th Graduation and Commencement Weekend, May 26-27, when approximately 5,500 students will receive their degrees.

Both events will be held at Schoellkopf Stadium; seating is first-come, first-served.

Senior Convocation is Saturday, May 26, at noon. In addition to DuVernay, Senior Class President S.J. Munsi and Convocation Chair Elizabeth Gorman will speak. Gates open at 9 a.m. In the event of severe weather, the event will move into Barton Hall where admission will be by electronic ticket only. Under such severe weather conditions, the convocation event will be streamed to Bailey Hall, Klarman Hall auditorium and Call Auditorium.

Commencement is Sunday, May 27, with the procession to enter the stadium at 10 a.m. and the president’s address at 11 a.m. Gates at Schoellkopf open at 8 a.m.

Commencement exercises will be held outdoors. If severe weather occurs, the graduation ceremony will be held for students only in Barton Hall at 10:30 a.m. Under severe weather conditions, families and guests can watch the livestream of the Barton Hall ceremony at their student’s college.  Check the severe weather plan for details and for updates.

Commencement will be broadcast live on and on Ithaca’s Spectrum Cable Channel 16.

Graduation Weekend events include:

Saturday, May 26:

  • Military commissioning: Statler Auditorium, 8 a.m.
  • Senior Convocation: noon at Schoellkopf Stadium with film director Ava DuVernay.
  • University reception: An ice cream social for students, their families and guests on the Arts Quad, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Cornell University Wind Ensemble Concert: international and American music, as well as Cornell songs, on the Arts Quad, 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony: 5 p.m. in Barton Hall. A reception will follow at 6:15 p.m.
  • Senior Week Concert: The Cornell University Chorus and the Glee Club at 8 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Admission is $15 for guests and $5 for students. Tickets are available at or at the door.

Sunday, May 27:

  • Schoellkopf Stadium seating starts at 8 a.m.
  • The academic procession assembles on the Arts Quad at 9:15 a.m. and marches into Schoellkopf Stadium beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Commencement Ceremony: President Martha E. Pollack will deliver the Commencement Address at 11 a.m.
  • College and school ceremonies: various locations across campus, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.


Some parking lots and roads will be closed during the weekend.

Safety and Security

The Cornell Police will conduct bag-check security at both Convocation and Commencement.

Cornell visitor text messages

Cornell visitors can sign up temporarily for emergency notifications, such as weather alerts, by texting “CornellVisitor” (without the quotation marks) to 226-787.

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews.