Commencement Weekend
May 13 - 15, 2016

Commencement Ceremony

Event Details

Sunday, May 15, 2016
Wallace Wade Stadium
9:00 AM Procession of Candidates
9:30 AM Ceremony

Event Description

Each year, Duke holds one university-wide commencement ceremony to celebrate the three graduating classes of that academic year. September 2015, December 2015, and May 2016 graduates from all ten Duke schools are invited to attend. 

The ceremony begins with the procession of degree candidates, faculty, administration, and platform party. President Richard H. Brodhead presides, and an elected graduate and a keynote speaker give addresses. This year's keynote speaker is Duke University men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, now in his 36th year leading the Blue Devils. Duke also awards honorary degrees during the ceremony to people who have exemplified the highest ideals and standards in their work. Honorary degree recipients are typically announced in March. 

The commencement ceremony typically concludes by 11 a.m., and many departments host gatherings and diploma ceremonies in the afternoon.

Click here to view the archives from previous commencement ceremonies.

Ceremonies Hosted by Schools and Departments

While degrees are officially conferred at the university-wide commencement ceremony, diplomas are distributed by departments and schools either by mail or at separate events throughout commencement weekend. Most departmental ceremonies take place on Sunday afternoon between noon and 3 p.m..They typically include the distribution of diplomas and a light reception.


Click here to learn more about the accommodations offered for guests with disabilities. 


Click here to view detailed information about parking and transportation options on commencement day.


Tickets are not required for this event.


The commencement ceremony is held outdoors, and there are limited shaded areas. The ceremony will be shortened and/or delayed in the event of persistent rain and may be canceled if weather is severe. Lightning, torrential downpour, tornadoes, and tropical storms may qualify as severe weather.


Guests who are unable to attend the commencement ceremony may view it via live streaming.