Campuswide commencement, May 13

ATTENTION: Reporters covering higher education and general assignment beats; weekend, photo and TV news assignment desks

WHAT: The University of California, Berkeley, will celebrate its annual commencement honoring all graduating seniors in the Class of 2017, along with those earning graduate degrees. This year’s campuswide ceremony is expected to draw 4,500 graduates and 38,000 spectators, including family members, friends, faculty and staff.

Iranian American comic Maz Jobrani will deliver the commencement address. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks will offer remarks, as will lawyer and human rights activist Todung Mulya Lubis, who will accept the 2016 Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award.

Also speaking at the event will be UC Berkeley’s top graduating senior, Grant Schroeder, winner of this year’s University Medal, given for outstanding scholarship, public service and strength of character. Schroeder, 22, an integrative biology major, earned a perfect GPA at Berkeley, and in August will begin a yearlong research post at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he will experiment with stem cell therapies to regenerate tissue in animal models.

WHEN:  Saturday, May 13, at 10 a.m. The media check-in table will open at 7 a.m. News media are encouraged to arrive before 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:  California Memorial Stadium, on the southeast corner of the UC Berkeley campus (see campus map). Reporters must stop at the media check-in table located between Gates 1 and 2 to receive credentials. Bags are allowed but will be checked and tagged. Parking is extremely limited. TV trucks will be directed to an adjacent lot.

DETAILS: Click here for details on the campuswide commencement, as well as departmental ceremonies for the spring 2017 graduation season.


  • For Sayah Bogor, an arduous road from refugee to health researcher (audio profile of graduating public health master’s student Sayah Bogor, 24)
  • Additional profiles on graduating students coming up on Berkeley News:
    • Joe Bush, a graduate journalism school student-veteran who works with veterans who have been deported;
    • Newton Nguyen, a visually impaired triathlete and geophysics major who studies clouds;
    • Natalie Ruiz, a double-major in sociology and social welfare, who will graduate with her 3-year-old by her side and a nearly fatal disease behind her;
    • Levi Bridges, a graduate journalism student who helped start a shelter for Central American migrants and refugees in Mexico and plans to set up a mobile radio studio in migrant shelters;
    • Patrick Ford, an MBA student and a champion for gender equity in the workplace, who will graduate with a legacy as a co-leader of Berkeley Haas’s “Manbassadors” program

CONTACT: Credentialed news media who would like to cover all or part of the event should R.S.V.P. to Roqua Montez, executive director of communications and media relations, at