President Pollack, Joe Biden will highlight Graduation Weekend

2017 cap and gown fitting
Lindsay France/University Photography
Members of the Class of 2017 try on caps and gowns ahead of commencement.

Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack’s first Commencement address and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s Senior Convocation address highlight Cornell’s 149th Commencement Weekend, May 27-28, when about 6,000 students will receive their degrees.

Both events will be held at Schoellkopf Stadium; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. All bags and individuals will be subject to screening when entering the stadium, and families and guests should allow for additional time to enter. The events also will be livestreamed on CornellCast.

Senior Convocation is Saturday, May 27, at noon. In addition to Biden, Senior Class President Lauren Lang ’17 will speak. Gates open at 9 a.m. In the event of severe or inclement weather, the event will be moved into Barton Hall, and admission will be by ticket only. The Convocation ceremony will be broadcast live on Ithaca’s Spectrum Cable Channel 16 and livestreamed via CornellCast at

Commencement is Sunday, May 28, with the procession starting at 10 a.m. and the president’s address at 11 a.m. Gates open at Schoellkopf at 8 a.m.

cap selfie
Lindsay France/University Photography
A soon-to-be graduate snaps a selfie in her cap and gown.

Commencement exercises will be held outdoors unless weather is deemed potentially dangerous. If severe weather is forecast, the graduation ceremony will be held for students only in Barton Hall at 10:30 a.m. Families and guests should go directly at 9:30 a.m. to the location of their college’s afternoon events to watch the livestream of the Barton Hall ceremony. The livestream also will be viewable on personal devices. Check the severe weather plan for details, and check for updates.

Commencement will be broadcast live on Ithaca’s Spectrum Cable Channel 16. The ceremony can be heard on WHCU radio (870 AM) starting at 11 a.m. The procession and ceremony can be viewed afterward on CornellCast.


Graduation Weekend events include:

Saturday, May 27:

  • Senior Convocation: noon at Schoellkopf Stadium with former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • University Reception: An ice cream social for students, their families and guests, under a tent on the Arts Quad, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Cornell University Wind Ensemble Concert: Performs international and American music, as well as Cornell songs, during a concert on the Arts Quad, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.
  • Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony: Families, friends and faculty members are invited to attend the ceremony at 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 will present the annual Senior Days concert at 8 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Admission $12 adult in advance; $15 adult at the door; $5 for students. Tickets available at or at the door.

Sunday, May 28:

  • Schoellkopf Stadium seating starts at 8 a.m.
  • The academic procession assembles on the Arts Quad at 9:15 a.m. and then arrives at Schoellkopf Stadium at 10 a.m.
  • Commencement Ceremony: President Martha E. Pollack will deliver her first Commencement Address at 11 a.m.
  • College and school ceremonies: These will be held at various locations across campus, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. See listings online here.


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


Event security teams will monitor all entry points to Schoellkopf Stadium for Convocation and Commencement ceremonies. All bags and individuals will be subject to screening when entering the stadium, and families and guests should allow for additional time to enter the stadium. A list of items prohibited in the stadium is available on the Cornell Police Department website.

Media Contact

John Carberry