Media Advisory: Senator Kamala Harris to miss UC Berkeley’s spring commencement due to ongoing labor dispute

Senator Kamala Harris to miss UC Berkeley’s spring commencement due to ongoing labor dispute

California Senator Kamala Harris will not serve as UC Berkeley’s spring commencement speaker, the campus and Senator Harris’s office announced Monday.

UC Berkeley and the office of Senator Harris issued the following statements:

 UC Berkeley:

We regretfully share the news that, after much consideration, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has decided not to speak at Saturday’s commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley due to a UC-wide speaker boycott called by AFSCME Local 3299. UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ will deliver the keynote address.

The office of Senator Kamala Harris:

Due to the ongoing labor dispute, Sen. Harris regretfully cannot attend and speak at this year’s commencement ceremony at UC Berkeley. She wishes the graduates and their families a joyous commencement weekend and success for the future. They are bright young leaders, and our country is counting on them.

Reporters wishing to cover the spring commencement exercises should take note of the following details:

WHAT: Spring commencement, an annual event at UC Berkeley honoring all graduating seniors. Chancellor Carol Christ will give the keynote speech to graduates, their families and guests.

Some 5,800 students in caps and gowns are expected to participate. There wil be a procession to “Pomp and Circumstance,” speeches, musical performances and recognition of outstanding students and the Distinguished Teaching Award winners.

No diplomas are awarded at commencement; degrees are conferred at the more than 80 departmental graduation ceremonies being held on campus in May.

WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12. Members of the media should arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m., as road closures and traffic will create congestion in the area. The ceremony is expected to last 90 minutes.

WHERE: California Memorial Stadium, 2227 Piedmont Avenue, UC Berkeley.


  • Chancellor Carol Christ, who will serve as the keynote speaker
  • Unversity Medalist Freja Ekman, UC Berkeley’s top graduating senior, will speak about her time on campus (read more)
  • The Odds, an a cappella musical group of graduating seniors


  • Only media vans/trucks will be allowed to park in the stadium’s Prospect Court lot. (Map) No personal vehicles will be allowed there.
  • Credentialed media must check in at the third-floor lobby of the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance. This is down a set of stairs on the southwest corner of the stadium. Please enter at Gate 5. (Map)
  • A riser and mult box will be available for broadcast media.