University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Student Services

CLA Spring Commencement Information

Spring 2015 Commencement

Mariucci Arena, University of Minnesota
11:00am and 4:00pm
Sunday, May 17, 2015

Due to the large number of graduates who participate in spring commencement, the College of Liberal Arts holds two ceremonies. This spring's ceremonies will take place at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2015 in the Mariucci Arena. To learn which ceremony you will be invited to attend, click here. Additional information about the spring commencement ceremonies is below for your reference.

Keynote Speakers:
11 a.m. ceremony: TBD
4 p.m. ceremony: TBD

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General Information

You will be invited to participate in commencement and your name will appear in the commencement booklet if you apply to graduate summer 2014, fall 2014, spring 2015, May term 2015, or summer term 2015.*

*Special note regarding summer 2015 graduates: If you apply to graduate before March 26, for the summer term you will be invited to participate in the May 2015 ceremonies. Summer graduates who apply after the March 26th deadline need to contact the Student Information Office at (612) 625-2020, or email ( to be invited to attend the May ceremonies.

If you will not be graduating during any of the above terms and wish to participate in commencement please contact the Student Information Office at (612) 625-2020, or email ( to be placed on a waiting list. You will be notified by email the week of April 13, with an update on whether there is space available for you to participate.

RSVP and Guest Information

Invitations will be sent via email in March 2015. You must RSVP if you wish to participate in the ceremony. Note: Summer 2015 graduates will receive their invitation the first week of April.

Please note: Tickets are NOT required for you or your guests. Graduates are asked to limit their guests to eight (8). All seating is general admission, first come first served, and specific seats and/or consecutive seats are not guaranteed.

International Students: Need assistance with inviting your family to commencement? Please visit: for more information.

Student Speaker Applications

The College of Liberal Arts will select one student speaker for each commencement ceremony. This is a unique opportunity for a graduate to take part in the program by addressing his or her fellow graduates, friends, and family.

Applicants must:
1. Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher;
2. Be eligible to graduate and scheduled to complete their degree requirements by August 2015;
3. Be in good standing with the university.

All applications will be reviewed by the Office of the CLA Assistant Dean of Student Services.

Complete applications should include:
-A cover sheet with your name, major, and contact information (phone and email)
-A speech proposal of about 1-2 pages. The proposal should briefly address why you want to be the student speaker, but the majority of it should focus on the topic of your speech.
- Current Resume

Speeches will be less than 4 minutes in length, or about 600 words. They should reflect on your experiences at the University of Minnesota and address topics that you believe will resonate with your audience. When writing your proposal you may want to consider some of the advice given in the links below:

USA Today: 8 Keys to a Graduation Speech with Pomp and Significance

USA Today: 10 Stellar Commencement Addresses

Student representatives will review all submissions and select finalists to interview before making final decisions.

Email your submission as a Word document to CLA Student Programs:
Please use "CLA Commencement Student Speaker Selection Committee" in the subject line.

Application deadline is Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

Assembly Information

Graduates will assemble and check-in at the Sports Pavilion located across the street from Mariucci Arena on Fourth Street SE. Please use the West Pavilion main doors to enter the building (see map below for reference). Commencement staff will be on hand to check graduates in and to provide further instruction regarding the procession into Mariucci Arena. Check-in time for the 11:00 am ceremony time is from 9:30am to 10:15 am. Check-in time for the 4:00 pm ceremony time is from 2:30 to 3:15 pm. Please leave coats and valuables with your guests as there will not be a secure place for you to leave them at the Sports Pavilion.

Each ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours and includes a procession of faculty, students, regents, and other guests. There will be a commencement address and presentation of degree candidates. All degree candidates cross the stage as their names are called.


GradImages® was the official photographer at your graduation ceremony. Your photos are now available to view and order by visiting Simply enter your Last Name, your School Name: University of Minnesota and, select 2015 from the dropdown menu. Once you see your name, click on the link to view your photos.

If you need additional help to locate your photos, call our customer service department at 800-261-2576 or email us at

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns, along with many other commencement items, can be purchased at GradFest, the University Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union, or online.

Caps and gowns are not required to participate in the ceremony; however, 99 percent of students choose to wear academic regalia. Business professional attire is suggested for underneath your academic robe.

Faculty Invites

Each year, the Commencement Committee invites faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts to participate in commencement by being part of the faculty procession. In an effort to involve CLA students in the faculty invitation process, the Commencement Committee invites you to submit the names of faculty who have had an impact on you during your time at the University. It may be a professor that you had for a class, a faculty member in your major department who served as your mentor, or someone who helped to make your experience at the University a positive one.

You will have the opportunity to submit the names of faculty members you would like to extend invitations to when you RSVP for you and your guests.

Directions and Parking

Mariucci Arena, 1901 4th Street SE, is located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus, across from Williams Arena and TCF Bank Stadium.

Directions and parking information for Mariucci Arena.

Disability Accommodations

Seating for the elderly and guests with physical disabilities will be available upon request. Please make requests by Monday, May 4 by calling (612) 625-2020, or email us at ( We strongly encourage family and guests with special needs to arrive early.

Persons with special needs can be dropped off at the ground-level entrance on the northeast corner of the Mariucci Arena (access to this area is located between 5th and Oak Streets). Parking is not allowed in the transitway, but drivers with state-issued disability permits may park in designated spaces in nearby parking facilities.

Eastcliff Reception



Please contact the CLA Student Information Office at (612) 625-2020, or email us at (


graduate survey Graduates - tell the U what you're up to!
If you're about to graduate, or if you have graduated in the last 12 months, we invite you to take the University of Minnesota Graduate Survey. Tell us what you're up to and help current and prospective students in their career decision-making.